Have you ever been curious about Christmas in the UK? If you have, today is your lucky day! Thomas Brock has written a diary of his family Christmas in the first entry of Thomas’ Blog! Read, learn some new vocabulary, and practice English!

Vocabulary List

Rural (adj) – related to the countryside and its inhabitants.

“The rural town was known for its picturesque scenery.”

Blanket (n) – covering something completely or nearly completely.

“A blanket of snow covered the ground.”

Nostalgic (adj) – feeling or characterized by nostalgia; reminiscent of the past and longing for it.

“The old photographs made her feel nostalgic for her childhood.”

Quaint (adj) – charmingly old-fashioned or old-world in character.

“The cottage was quaint with its thatched roof and ivy-covered walls.”

Rugby (n) – a sport played with an oval ball by two teams of fifteen players.

“Rugby is a popular sport in many countries.”

Cottage (n) – a small house, typically one in the countryside.

“The couple decided to buy a small cottage in the woods.”

Spectacular (adj) – very impressive and striking.

“The view of the sunset was spectacular.”

Horizon (n) – the line at which the earth’s surface and the sky appear to meet.

“On a clear day, the horizon was visible from the top of the mountain.”

Debate (n) – a discussion or argument in which the pros and cons of a particular subject are presented.

“The debate over healthcare reform is ongoing.”

Persuasive (adj) – able to convince or induce someone to do something.

“She gave a persuasive speech on the importance of voting.”

Go-to (adj) – reliable or frequently used.

“He’s my go-to person for technical support.”

Newspaper-clipping (n) – a piece of a newspaper that has been cut out or torn out.

“The scrapbook was filled with newspaper clippings from his childhood.”

You may see farms in the rural villages of England
man in blue and white striped soccer jersey playing rugby
Have you ever watched a game of rugby? Photo by Patrick Case on Pexels.com
photo of body of water during golden hour
The horizon! Photo by Josh Sorenson on Pexels.com
shallow focus photography of magazines
Photo by Digital Buggu on Pexels.com

Christmas in the UK!

This year, just like every year, I spent my Christmas in the UK. Why is this fact worthy of mention? Well, I spent most of the year outside of the UK. Over the last 12 months I have been in 7 different countries: France, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Morocco, Monaco and of course, the UK.

Despite my movements, I think my family would have had something to say if I had told them I would not be home for Christmas. Christmas is a time for family. So I flew home on the 17th of December, enjoyed my 3 weeks of family time, and then by the 7th of January I left the country again, perhaps for a while this time.

As I flew into London Stansted airport I saw the blanketing of snow that the country had recieved prior to my arrival – It was very nostalgic.

I first visited my hometown in rural Buckinghamshire. I adore my hometown; it is beautiful, quaint, and extremely homely. I still have a lot of family there, and a few friends that live nearby. It is also home to the Rugby club that I played at for many years, which is always a fun place to go for a pint or to watch a game.

My hometown, covered in snow

After meeting up with friends and family in my hometown, my brothers and I took to the road for a 7 hour journey up North to the little Northumberland village of Corbridge, just West of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. This is where my mum comes from. Just like my hometown it is a beautiful and quaint countryside village (it’s a little smaller).

We spent a few nights in a cottage here, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day.

We ticked most of the traditional British family Christmas traditions:

  • Christmas Dinner
  • Family games
  • Family walks
  • Eating too much chocolate
  • Gift giving
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Wearing Christmas Jumpers
  • Mince Pies
  • Christmas crackers
  • Christmas music
  • Last-minute buying of presents
  • family arguments
christmas tree with decors under the staircase
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

I’m sure there are many more British Christmas traditions but these are just a few that we often engage in. What are your Christmas traditions?

After Christmas I travelled back down South to my hometown for one more week before I left the country again. In this time I managed to see a number of freinds and family and enjoy the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

For the 31st of December I got on the train down to London to stay with my friends and attend their house party. We watched the fireworks from the top of their apartment building. This was a particularly spectacular sight. The 360 degree views meant that we could see across most of the capital. Along the entire horizon were fireworks.

The view from the top of the building.

I think it impossible for me to talk at any length without mentioning food. I will write a seperate post about my Christmas dinner, but I do want to mention one I had whilst in the UK this winter.

the first is an Indian meal at my favourite Indian restaurant in the world. This may in fact be my favourite restaurant in the world.

I met up with 2 of my friends from university, who happened to be passing close to my hometown. After visiting a number of pubs we all agreed we were hungry and the debate about food began. It didn’t take us very long to settle on Indian. I was very persuasive.

The Four Pillars Tandoori restaurant is famous back home. It is the go-to place for curry and other indian food. I grew up living opposite this fine restaurant and remember friends and family visiting our house, all sat around the dining table with steaming cartons of delicious take away food laid out for us.

But don’t take my word for it! Take the word of famous American rap musician Snoop Dogg. There is a newspaper clipping proudly hanging on the wall that tells the story of how the famous rapper once visited and put in a record order from the kitchen.

I love Indian food, and this restaurant certainly serves some amazing meals.

With this, my stay in the UK had almost come to an end. I left my hometown late at night and was back at the airport by early morning to start my next adventure. Stay tuned if you want to hear how it goes!

Can you guess where I am flying to next?

How do you spend holidays in your country?

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By Thomas Brock

Hi I'm Thomas and I'm an English language teacher and editor. I teach English to adults from all over the world. I focus on written English and on conversational English. I also edit written English in a number of different fields and areas. When I'm not teaching I'm travelling as much as I can, cooking new dishes, and trying hard to play and watch sports.

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