Saturday, 30 November 2013


 Decorating the tree, seeing Christmas lights and opening a stocking top list of adults’ favourite festive traditions 

New research out today from the National Trust reveals Brits are never too old for childhood Christmas customs, with nearly a third of 18-55 year olds (31 per cent) admitting that they still hang their stocking out for Father Christmas every year.

The study of 2,500 adults found that 15 per cent still write a letter to Father Christmas and 18 per cent make a visit to see him and his elves. One in three of 25-34 year olds (34 per cent) are given an advent calendar every year by their parents, and over half (64 per cent) think the best Christmas dinner they’ve eaten is their mum’s.

The research revealed that the most special Christmas moments for adults are decorating the tree and seeing the Christmas lights switch on (90 per cent). It also showed that Brits are most fond of timeless traditions, with customs such as opening their stocking (85 per cent) and getting an advent calendar (75 per cent) beating the office end of year party (60 per cent).

One in three (67 per cent) agree the Queen’s Speech is a special Christmas moment, with three quarters (72 per cent) stating that carolling is an important Christmas custom.

One in three (34 per cent) revealed they have a unique family Christmas tradition that has been passed down through generations, with 76% feeling their traditions are what makes Christmas truly special.  Nearly one in five (19 per cent) have developed new traditions in recent years that they hope their own children will continue, such as a Boxing Day walk. Over half (59 per cent) of Brits admitted they hold onto their childhood Christmas traditions for as long as possible.

The top ten special Christmas traditions for adults:
1.    Decorating the tree
2.    Seeing Christmas lights
3.    Opening your stocking presents
4.    Visiting a Christmas market
5.    Eating your mum’s roast dinner
6.    Christmas music
7.    A family game e.g. charades
8.    Getting an advent calendar
9.    A Boxing Day walk
10.   Putting out your stocking

Proving that Brits are very particular when it comes to Christmas, over half of Brits (52 per cent) think their family roast dinner is unbeatable.  Small wonder 62 per cent of cooks follow their mum’s Christmas recipes to the letter, and one in two (51 per cent) replicate the same Christmas day schedule they followed growing up. 

The research also showed how three quarters (73 per cent) of people enjoy a ‘homemade’ Christmas, citing it as a family tradition (58 per cent) or a way of reducing costs (56 per cent). One in five (20 per cent) admitted to making their own Christmas tree decorations, with nearly a quarter (22 per cent) crafting their own Christmas cards. Over half (58 per cent) said that the homemade gifts made by their family were far more important than expensive presents and over a quarter (27 per cent) admitted to still putting out Christmas decorations they made as a child.

Off the back of the research, the National Trust is inviting everyone to share in the magic of festive traditions old and new. Over the yuletide season special events will bring to life the spirit of Christmas; from food and crafts to winter lights displays and atmospheric grottoes, National Trust places will be decked out with Christmas sparkle for all the family to enjoy.

Tony Berry, National Trust’s Director of Visitor Experience comments:
‘Our research highlights how important traditions are to families at Christmas time, and so this year, National Trust places around the UK will be rekindling the magic of a family Christmas with events that embrace traditions old and new. Whether carolling, making your own decorations or mince pie tasting, our Christmas activities are the perfect way to enjoy some of the nation’s favourite customs – whatever your age!’ 

National Trust Christmas events are taking place at many properties across the country, these include:

South West
Brownsea Island, Dorset – Christmas walks, 1, 8 and 15 December Avebury, Wiltshire - Christmas through the ages, 5-22 December Coleridge Cottage, Somerset - Georgian Christmas at Coleridge Cottage, 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22 December Lanhydrock, Cornwall - A Victorian Christmas with Tommy and Eva, 7-8, 14-15, 21-24 and 27-29 December,
Killerton, Devon - Victorian Father Christmas, 7, 14 and 21 December   
Castle Drogo, Devon - Father Christmas letter writing, 14-15 and 21-22 December Arlington Court, Devon - Picnic with Father Christmas, 14-15 and 21-22 December Montacute House, Somerset - Hug a husky, 21-22 December

London and South East
Bateman's, East Sussex - An Edwardian Christmas, 30 November-23 December Bodiam Castle, East Sussex – Christmas pudding clout, 5 January Osterley Park and House, Middlesex – Deck the halls, 30 November-1 December Petworth House and Park, West Sussex – A festive feast for the eyes, 30 November-22 December (Saturday to Wednesday) Standen, West Sussex – Garden of lights: the Nutcracker story, 30 November- 1 December, 6-8, 13-15 and 20-22 December Clandon Park, Surrey - Christmas regency ball, 1 December Mottisfont, Hampshire - The Swan Queen’s Ball: Christmas at Mottisfont, 1 December– 5 January 2014 (except 24 and 25 December)

East of England
Anglesey Abbey, Gardens and Lode Mill, Cambridgeshire - Winter lights festival, 29 November-1 December, 6-8 and 13-15 December Ickworth, Suffolk - The servants' ball, 30 November Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk - Tudor yuletide at Oxburgh, 20-22 December

Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire - A Victorian Christmas, 30 November-8 December The Workhouse, Nottinghamshire - A Victorian workhouse Christmas, 6 December Attingham Park, Shropshire - Lord Berwicks’ Christmas, 7-8 and 14-23 December Brockhampton Estate, Herefordshire - Preparing for a Medieval Christmas, 7-8 December Belton House, Lincolnshire - Jane Austen's Christmas, 10 December

North West
Speke Hall, Garden and Estate, Liverpool - Victorian Christmas weekends, 30 November-1 December and 7-8 December    
Little Moreton Hall, Cheshire – Tudor yuletide celebrations, 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22 December Quarry Bank Mill and Styal Estate, Cheshire - A Victorian Christmas at the Mill, 7-8 and 14-15 December

Yorkshire and North East
Nunnington Hall, North Yorkshire - 1920's Christmas experience, 23-24 November, 30 November-1 December, 7-8 and 14-15 December Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, North Yorkshire - Santa’s grotto, 30 November- 1 December, 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22 December Wallington, Northumberland - Christmas carolling and crafts at Wallington, 6-8, 13-15 and 20-22 December

Tredegar House, Newport – Christmas at Tredegar House, 30 November – 1 December, 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22 December Chirk Castle, Wrexham – Christmas at Chirk Castle, 7-22 December Powis Castle and Garden, Powys – Christmas at Powis Castle, 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22 December Plas Newydd Country House and Gardens, Anglesey – 1930s weekend, 14-15 December

Northern Ireland
Mount Stewart, Co. Down – Santa experience, 6-8, 13-15 and 18-23 December The Argory, Co. Armagh – Santa’s Christmas grotto, 7-8 and 14-15 December Springhill, Co. Londonderry – Magical Christmas memories, 7-8 and 14-15 December

About National Trust:
The National Trust looks after more than 250,000 hectares of countryside, 742 miles of coastline and hundreds of special places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. For more information and ideas for great value family days out go to:

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