The Importance of Keeping UK and US Christmas Traditions Alive | Holly Brannan Guest Post #13

The Importance of Keeping UK & US Traditions Alive

The importance of keeping US and UK Christmas traditions alive

There are many amazing things about being married to an American but being able to mesh US and UK Christmas traditions together makes for a unique experience that I love! It isn’t until you sit down with your loved one like this that you realize how many things you loved about Christmas when growing up.

We have been together for four years now, I have had several American Christmases and Joe has experienced a traditional English Christmas. I think this year we will have our first blended Christmas. This has got me thinking about what traditions I would like to keep, and I know Joe has been doing the same. When you love someone, you are willing to make compromises and making sure that both people are happy during such a special time.

Joe and I are quite lucky. There aren’t many things that overlap, there are many things that we both equally like so for us it’s more about adding things and not about losing important traditions.

The one thing that has needed to be discussed has been the food. This is something that we had to decide on who’s tradition we would keep. My English family tradition is turkey, pigs in blankets, mashed and roasted potatoes, vegetables and gravy, maybe some cranberry sauce. My American family normally go for ham, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, bread rolls, 5-layer salad, jello salad and much more. As you can see these are very different and you can’t really have 2 Christmas dinners on one day. So instead of trying to mix the dinners we have decided to make one on Christmas eve and one on Christmas day. This way we can both enjoy the food we love around the holidays.

There are several things that I loved about Christmas that I wanted to keep going, and Joe seems happy to join in and those are Christmas crackers and chocolates on the tree. Now for those of you who don’t know about Christmas crackers they are something English people have during their Christmas dinner. You and someone either next to you or opposite you pull on their end and when it breaks apart whoever had the middle section would get a paper crown, a joke and a crap toy but we love it!

 Joe loves all the baking his nana and mom would do on the build up to Christmas and he wants to keep that tradition going so I have collected recipes for cookies, cakes and other tasty treats.

Opening one present on Christmas eve is something Joe has always done. For my family this was a huge no no, you’ve waited this long you can wait until the morning. This is a tradition of Joe’s that we will be keeping. It will be something like a pair of Pajamas and whilst we don’t have kids maybe a bottle of wine when we have kid they will get a story book we will read whilst we will still have the wine/alcohol.

Whilst we know that the elf on the shelf is for children Joe and I have got one this year so we can take it in turns creating inappropriate situations for it to find itself in before it has to be well behaved for the kids! You need to keep the fun in christmas before kids to why not! 


The one tradition we do love is visiting the christmas markets. In England we have some beautiful markets that really get you into the christmas spirit. Joe and I have been fortunate enough to have visited real authentic German Christmas Market and this is something we are desperate to do here in the US so we will be looking for one here in Colorado for this year and all the years to come.


There are many traditions we both have that we cannot do here in Colorado because our family isn’t here with us so we decided to make some traditions of our own that will make the holidays special. One thing we would like to start doing is on Christmas eve go up into the mountains and enjoy a day playing in the snow and enjoying the Christmas spirit!

Whilst it’s hard to part ways with some of your fondest things about Christmas when you’re with the one you love it becomes more exciting that sad.

I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas!

A massive thank you to Holly for guesting posting for Blogmas day 17! I miss having my sister around for Christmas but it means the world that she did this post for me and I absolutely love reading what she’s up to on her blog – please go and give her a follow on her social media and blog!
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10 Replies to “The Importance of Keeping UK and US Christmas Traditions Alive | Holly Brannan Guest Post #13”

  1. Such fun to read ! Yes and it’s also blending in two sets of traditions when you get married etc…….even if they are both English ones.

    We’ve taken the best bits and used them – so on Xmas Day, we only have Xmas dinner….starter at about 12.30pm, then main…………then we stop……………open presents that the guests have brought over. Then at about 4ish, we have desert.

    Then much later in the evening, we have cheese and biscuits – therefore we don’t need to do an ‘evening meal’ – it’s just bits and pieces. We’ve found this works great.

    Love your Elf on the Shelf – doing all the naughty stuff !!!

    Happy Xmas

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was so cool to read! As someone who has now been brought up in two cultures I definitely agree that it’s important to keep all the happy and nice things that you like about your traditions. But completely be accepting of other’s as well!x

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love that you have put the two traditions together, even when you have a partner from England too there’s often little things that are different so this year I’m having to do a few different things I hadn’t done before around Christmas! Hope you have a great Christmas!!

    Chloe xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the idea of incorporating both sets of traditions, it’s a lovely thing to do. My family celebrates with touches of French traditions in honor of my Grandmother. She passed away many years ago, but keeping her traditions alive helps keep her memory close. Happy Holidays!🎄

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So cool to see the mix of traditions you guys are keeping! Both dinners sound delicious to me!! And you definitely have to keep the baking. Yum! Love that you have an elf on the shelf before kids. So cute! Gotta get your inappropriateness out before the kids. Haha love this!

    Liked by 1 person

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