The Christmas Eve tradition King Charles will continue |
King Charles will continue the Christmas traditions of his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II. Charles and the royal family will reportedly spend the holidays at Sandringham, the Norfolk estate where the Queen gathered the family for the celebrations. Another tradition Charles will uphold is opening presents on Christmas Eve, something that harks back to his German roots.
While the royal family celebrates Christmas like many families do – traditional Christmas dinners, church visits, time together on Boxing Day and during the bank holidays – they also have some unusual customs that haven’t quite caught on.
One such tradition that Charles will reportedly continue this year is exchanging gifts on Christmas Eve, December 24.
While most others get up early on Christmas Day to see if Santa was there, the royals exchange gifts the night before to thank tradition.
Christmas Eve gift giving is the term for it, but basically it’s just a German term for the day they exchange presents, which is December 24th.
Royals have been doing this for nearly two centuries, dating back to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
The royals are known to mostly exchange hilarious gifts, choosing not to get too lavish. In fact, rumor has it that the funnier the gift, the better. When not comical, practical gifts, like Kate Middleton’s frugal first gift for the Queen, are considered popular.
Charles is also known for being something of a thoughtful gift giver to those who work for the family.
Former royal butler Grant Harrold told Slingo about the Christmases he spent with the family (opens in new tab).
He said: “I’m happy to say there were no misers. They are all Christmas oriented from what I’ve seen. I used to get gifts from King Charles and he once gave me china cups and beautiful glass mugs.”
Aside from those thoughtful “little things,” Charles would also “give all sorts of things,” in a nod to his sometimes eccentric ways.
Grant explains: “One year I got a can of salmon. They were fun little things, but maybe something that made him think, ‘Oh, Grant might like that.'”
Not only the gift delivery on December 24th can be traced back to the German descent of the royals.
The tradition of Christmas trees in the royal household goes back to George III. and his German wife, Queen Charlotte, returned. It was she who introduced a German Christmas celebration in the early 18th century, which included the introduction of the yew tree (the first royal Christmas tree) at Windsor Castle, in homage to German mores.
In 1848 Queen Victoria cemented the symbol of the Christmas tree with a portrait of the family gathered around their festive fir tree at Windsor Castle.