Holiday Season in London

In the UK (or Great Britain), families often celebrate Christmas together, so they can watch each other open their presents! Most families have a Christmas Tree (or maybe even two!) in their house for Christmas.

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The decorating of the tree is usually a family occasion, with everyone helping. Christmas Trees were first popularized in the UK by Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria. Prince Albert was German, and thought that it would be good to use one of his ways of celebrating Christmas in to England. Holly, Ivy and Mistletoe are also sometimes used to decorate homes or other buildings.

During the Christmas time, most villages, towns and cities are decorated with wonderful Christmas lights - the most famous lights are on Oxford Street, in the heart of London.

The British people believe in Santa Claus and every year children write letters to Santa Claus listing their requests, but sometimes instead of putting them in the post, the letters are tossed into the fireplace. The drought carries the letters up the chimney and Santa reads the smoke and will get these kids what they wished for. The most people are going to church around midnight on the 24th of December. Nativity Plays and Carol Services are also very popular. And on Christmas Day (on the 25th of December) - in the morning - everyone comes together and opens their presents. Usually after that at lunchtime or in the early afternoon families have their Christmas Meal. A very popular dish in the UK is roast turkey/goose and vegetables with bacon and sausages. For dessert they are having Christmas Pudding, mince pies or also Christmas Cake and all the tables are decorated with Christmas Crackers - one for each person. 

The day after Christmas is called the Boxing Day. Most people take the day off and so the streets are very crowded and you can find offers everywhere in every shop.

All in all Christmas in Britain is very family orientated. The only thing that is really missing is snow. Every year people want to know if it is going to be a "White Christmas" - but a winter with real snow only happens about every 10 years.

Nevertheless a wonderful time in the year that nobody should miss.

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