Christmas traditions that have stood the test of time

• Minority of Brits still hang stockings, sing carols, and put mince pies out for Santa
• However much-loved traditional country pubs withstand the test of time
• Historian Professor Kate Williams analyses changing landscape of Christmas in the UK

Some of the nation's most time-honoured Christmas traditions are on the decline as Brits turn their back on customs such as hanging stockings, singing carols, and putting mince pies out for Santa.

The nationwide research from the Chef & Brewer Collection of country pubs indicates a departure from conventional customs, with attitudes and practices around the nation's annual festive celebrations shifting.

Out of 22 long-established festive traditions, including sending Christmas cards, the Royal address to the nation and more, just one tradition – watching Christmas films – has increased in popularity this century with respondents being asked which traditions from 25 years ago they still do today.

Meanwhile, the number of people hanging stockings (23%, down from 48%), singing carols (13%, down from 28%) and putting mince pies out for Santa (17%, down from 48%) has dwindled, according to the poll of 2,000 people.

Despite wider traditions seemingly in decline, country pubs remain the UK's favourite type of pub to visit at Christmas, with Brits citing the festive atmosphere to enjoy with family and friends (41%), top-quality food and drink (14%), and log fires (11%) as driving factors.

The Chef & Brewer Collection represents 150 cosy, traditional country pubs nationwide, packed with charm and character, boasting a delicious festive food and drink menu for guests to enjoy.

When it comes to Christmas dinner favourites, roast potatoes (27%), turkey (22%), and pigs in blankets (18%) top the list, with cranberry sauce (36%) emerging as the nation's favourite Christmas condiment.

Meanwhile, the study revealed one particularly interesting break away from tradition when it comes to festive food, with a notable one in 20 people (4%) drenching their Christmas dinner in tomato or brown sauce.

The Chef & Brewer Collection has highlighted the changing face of festive feasts by recreating a historic Christmas dinner and placing it alongside a Christmas meal from 2023 – revealing how culinary creations have drastically changed over the years.

This comes as great news for Chef & Brewer guests, as all these elements are part of its festive menu this year.

Elsewhere, the study also found just 16% of people will have a real Christmas tree this year, with seven in 10 (70%) opting for an artificial alternative and 14% not having one at all.

When it comes to Christmas films, Elf, Home Alone, and Love Actually reign supreme as the nation's top three festive flicks, with It's a Wonderful Life ranking as the number one classic seasonal movie (released in 1946). Surprisingly, Die Hard, which is often at the centre of Christmas film debates, claimed fifth spot.

Iconic Christmas film The Holiday starring Jude Law and Cameron Diaz, some of which was filmed at Chef & Brewer Collection pub the White Horse, also featured on the list of top festive films.

Chef & Brewer has partnered with historian Professor Kate Williams to analyse the changing approach to Christmas traditions across the UK.

Professor Williams said: “Christmas is a time steeped in time honoured traditions so it’s fascinating to see a clear shift in mindset, with many people opting to leave tradition behind.

“It’s no surprise to me that a classic country pub setting still has the same appeal its always has for Brits, as what could be better than enjoying a hearty meal at a cosy pub with loved ones at Christmas time? It’s a staple of British tradition that’s here to stay.”

Kate Dell, senior marketing manager for the Chef & Brewer Collection, said: "Our research clearly shows that, for many people, the festive landscape is ever-changing.

“However, with country pubs remaining an ever present in the heart of the nation, there’s no better time to enjoy a festive feast at the Chef & Brewer Collection, where visitors can enjoy a range of seasonal culinary delights alongside top quality drinks in a welcoming and cosy pub.”

To book at your local Chef & Brewer Collection pub for Christmas Day, visit: https://www.chefandbrewer.com/.