• Top Christmas traditions in the North East include telling terrible cracker jokes, losing the end of the sticky tape and falling asleep in front of the TV
  • 47% of people in the North East will have a glass of fizz before lunch this year
  • And 47% of people in the North East will fall asleep in front of the TV on Christmas afternoon

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.

The top 50 things that make Christmas in the North East

  1. Telling terrible cracker jokes
  2. Losing the end of the Sellotape
  3. Falling asleep in front of the television during Christmas Day afternoon
  4. Drinking fizz before lunch
  5. Receiving a pair of socks, again
  6. Last minute gift wrapping on Christmas Eve
  7. Complaining you’ve eaten too much, then going in for more
  8. Having chocolate for breakfast
  9. Big heads tearing through paper hats
  10. Saying “I still have the receipt if you don’t like it” at least once
  11. Having Christmas brunch and lunch
  12. Watching TV classics, like the Muppets Christmas Carol
  13. Getting a Christmas card from someone you’ve not sent one to
  14. Leaving a mince pie, carrot and drink out for Santa
  15. Wearing your new Christmas clothing all day
  16. Wearing a novelty Christmas jumper on the day itself
  17. Circling TV programmes in the Christmas television guide
  18. Pretending to like Christmas presents and having to use your best “gift face”
  19. Writing Christmas cards just in time for the last post
  20. Forgetting to label gifts and having no idea who they’re for
  21. Watching the Queen’s Speech
  22. Going for a post-lunch walk
  23. Last minute emergency food shopping
  24. Drinking mulled wine
  25. Finding creative hiding places for presents
  26. Eating at least two turkey dinners before Christmas day itself
  27. 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
  28. Being woken up by the kids at 5.00 am
  29. Dancing at the work Christmas party
  30. Battling over the favourite chocolates in the selection box
  31. Forgetting where the Christmas decorations were put away the previous year
  32. Playing Secret Santa with work colleagues
  33. Driving around to see the houses that have gone big on outdoor decorations
  34. Trying to find a present for Dad, always the trickiest person to buy for
  35. Sending Christmas gift list letters to Santa
  36. Seeing the lights switched on in the town centre
  37. Arguing over the Christmas playlist
  38. Finding a satsuma at the end of the stocking
  39. Getting creative with the leftovers
  40. Using an actual nut cracker
  41. Enjoying the Salvation Army band in the centre of town
  42. Going to a Santa’s Grotto with the kids
  43. Getting out the emergency chairs for the big family meal
  44. Eating brussels sprouts for the first and only time this year
  45. Fighting over where decorations go on the Christmas tree
  46. Re-gifting a present in an emergency
  47. Flicking through catalogues and circling the items you want
  48. Setting a dessert alight
  49. Eating roasted chestnuts
  50. A family board game that spans two days

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