Christmas and host families

christmas uk

The end of the term is fast approaching. Whilst this has been unbelievably challenging for everyone – schools, pupils, host families, parents and guardians…. We are almost at the end of the year and it’s time to prepare for Christmas.

If you are considering going home for Christmas, you will have to consider how you are going to quarantine on your return. There are some boarding schools who are offering to quarantine you for 14 days prior to school starting. We recommend you book these places quickly as they are precious and may not be enough to go around. There are also one or two boarding schools offering quarantine facilities to those who do not attend their school.

What are you doing this year?

Perhaps you are going to return home on a flight or stay in the UK to avoid having to undertake quarantine again. You might have family in the UK or regular homestay family with whom you are happy to spend the time.

Christmas with your host family?

For those staying in the UK at host families, this will be a special time for those families who may or may not celebrate Christmas itself, but may celebrate other religious festivals through December and enjoy the fundamental love of giving to others on the 25th December. Remember that they have offered you your space in their family because they want you there and that act of kindness can be reciprocated with perhaps a helping hand at laying a table for a meal or making a cup of tea. Whatever the beliefs you hold or your host family, it will be a special time and one in which to relax and enjoy.

Christmas traditions in the UK:

  • Christmas tree decorated with lights and a variety of baubles and characters hanging from the branches
  • Presents wrapped up under the tree perhaps too. This adds to the excitement and anticipation of waiting until 25th December to unwrap and thank the giver
  • Roast turkey, stuffing and a variety of vegetables is the traditional offering on Christmas Day. However, some families prefer vegetarian options, vegan options or perhaps duck, beef or goose instead
  • The dessert is often a traditional Christmas pudding. Sometimes this has a coin in the middle for the lucky member of the house to “bite into”.
  • Then the traditions vary – games (board, cards or charades perhaps), watching a film together as a family around a log fire perhaps or a chance to sit and go through the presents you have been lucky enough to receive
  • On Boxing Day, my family sit around a table and write all their thank you letters to those they have not seen on Christmas Day – I always insist that the children write their thank you letters rather than send emails.  Old fashioned of me, but appreciated by the older members of the family when the letter arrives through their door.

Always remember…

if you are finding it tough being away from home then please talk to your host family and explain to them. They are there to help you and would want to know if you are feeling sad (and it is okay to feel sad). If you feel you can’t talk to them – phone your guardian and have a chat. We are all here to help you stay safe, feel loved and wanted and to listen.

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