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A classic Christmas in 2017? Brits eat chocolate for breakfast, booze at brunch and fall asleep in front of the TV


New research from Sainsbury’s has pin-pointed the fifty things that truly make a great British Christmas, from celebratory bubbles in the morning to a snooze on the sofa.

Over 2,000 people were asked by the retailer to name the things that make the perfect Christmas in their households and the list was wonderfully diverse.

Telling terrible cracker jokes proved to be a sure-fire festive hit with Brits – as awful gags around the Christmas lunch table secured the top spot of Christmas traditions in homes up and down the UK.

Food and drink remains at the heart of the British Christmas experience: a fifth of Brits will have chocolate for breakfast on December 25th, while a quarter will enjoy brunch as well as lunch, a third will sip some fizz before lunchtime, and a quarter of us will complain that we’ve eaten too much before finding space for a little bit more.

Festive frustrations – losing the end of the sticky tape, receiving Christmas cards from people who dropped off the list, getting socks under the tree again and having to develop “gift face” for unwelcome presents – all made the list of the most common Christmas occurrences across the nation.

Sainsbury’s research into what makes “Every bit of Christmas” also identified the activities that take place across the nation on Christmas day. Perhaps predictable was the presence of telly-watching, especially whilst dozing on the sofa, as well as watching big screen classics like A Muppets Christmas Carol.

A fifth of Brits will watch the Queen’s Speech whilst a further fifth will try and walk off a few extra goose fat roasties on the post-lunch walk. Other favourite festive activities included playing secret Santa with work colleagues, watching Christmas lights being switched on and leaving treats out for Santa and Rudolph on Christmas Eve.

Sainsbury’s has celebrated these traditions in musical form in its Christmas advertising campaign this year to show how it’s the little things that come together to create the perfect festive season and mean that households are ‘living well’ at Christmas. In a song written by rapper and comedian Ben Bailey Smith – also known as Doc Brown, members of the public celebrate their love of the top traditions that the research uncovered.

Laura Boothby, Head of Broadcast Communications at Sainsbury’s said: “Christmas means something unique to every household and we all have our favourite moments and traditions that help us live well during the festive season. To understand what makes up a truly British Christmas, we asked the nation about the moments big and small that make up Christmas and we have celebrated them in this year’s Christmas campaign.

From chocolate and crackers to sprouts and sticky tape, Sainsbury’s can help you with everything you need to have a Christmas filled with all of your favourite traditions. And many of our stores are open until late on Christmas Eve for those whose Christmas would be nothing without an emergency last-minute food shop!”

The Sainsbury’s Christmas campaign – which features many of the top traditions – will air throughout the season of good will (and bad jokes). It will also have some cameo appearances from some of the personalities who best capture the nation’s Christmas moments.

Telling terrible cracker jokes

Losing the end of the Sellotape

Falling asleep in front of the television during Christmas Day afternoon

Wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve

Drinking fizz before lunch

Watching film classics, like the Muppets Christmas Carol

Getting a Christmas card from someone you’ve not sent one to

Receiving a pair of socks, again

Complaining you’ve eaten too much, then going in for more

Circling TV programmes in the Christmas television guide

Having Christmas brunch and lunch

Last minute emergency food shopping

Watching the Queen’s speech

Going for a post-lunch walk

Saying “I still have the receipt if you don’t like it” at least once

Big heads tearing through paper hats

Having chocolate for breakfast

Pretending to like Christmas presents and having to use your best “gift face”

Drinking mulled wine

Leaving a mince pie, carrot and drink out for Santa

Getting creative with the leftovers

Wearing your new Christmas clothing all day

Writing Christmas cards just in time for the last post

Driving around to see the houses that have gone big on outdoor decorations

Wearing a novelty Christmas jumper on the day itself

Forgetting to label gifts and having no idea who they’re for

Finding creative hiding places for presents

Having to do a top-up Christmas shop, because you can’t resist eating and drinking some of the delicious treats before the day itself

Eating at least two Turkey dinners before Christmas day itself

Playing secret Santa with work colleagues

Writing thank you letters

Seeing the lights switched on in the town centre

Being woken by the kids at 5.00 am

Using an actual nut cracker

Trying to find a present for Dad, always the trickiest person to buy for

Sending Christmas gift list letters to Santa

Getting out the emergency chairs for the big family meal

Enjoying the Salvation Army band in the centre of town

Forgetting where the Christmas decorations were put away the previous year

Battling over the favourite chocolates in the selection box

Eating Brussels sprouts for the first and only time this year

Re-gifting a present in an emergency

Dancing at the work Christmas party

Playing charades as a family

Kissing someone under the mistletoe

Eating roast chestnuts

Finding a satsuma at the end of the stocking

Flicking through catalogues and circling the items you want

Going to a Santa’s Grotto with the kids

Trying to get children to go to sleep on Christmas Eve

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