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TRADITIONS and the things you might not know

There are some weird (and wonderful) stories behind the traditions so many of us hold dear, many of which might surprise you. Debora Robertson unearths the essence of our unique festive history – plus we discover what makes tradition so important to our psyche

THE UNLIKELY RISE (AND RISE…) OF THE CHRISTMAS JUMPER

Christmas jumpers have long since shrugged off their Gyles Brandreth/Noel Edmonds/ Val Doonican 1970s television presenter vibe and are now imbued with ironic Christmas cool. What changed? Ever since Colin Firth as Mark Darcy wore his reindeer sweater to a Boxing Day party in Bridget Jones’s Diary in 2001, the march of the festive statement knit has been unstoppable. Last year, George at Asda sold more than 600,000 Christmas jumpers and one in five of us wear one on Christmas Day. It’s become such a trend that fashion designers including Jil Sander, Burberry, Ralph Lauren and Dolce & Gabbana have piled into the Christmas jumper game. But truthfully, who really wants a tasteful jumper? The kitsch-me-up sweater is the winter version of the kiss-me-quick hat, so the best ones go big on sparkles, sequins and even music and flashing lights.

In the United States, National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day has become as much a festive tradition as eggnog and candy canes. Here in the UK, Save the Children encourages people to take part in Christmas Jumper Day (slogan: ‘Make the world better with a sweater’), by paying £2 to wear a festive sweater to work or school with the proceeds going to help children in the UK and around the world. This year it’s on 14 December, so put it in the diary and get your anti-static spray ready.

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About delicious. Magazine

Make Christmas and New Year your best ever with the December issue of delicious. magazine. Festive shopping’s a breeze with our last-minute gifts, one-stop drinks advice and best-buys taste test. You’ll also find Michel Roux’s brunch, Gill Meller’s goose with black pudding, Matt Tebbutt’s soy-braised pork and a beautiful pie from Calum Franklin. Fancy a lie in on the big day? Try our all-in-one-tray lunch or make-ahead turkey dinner. With Gaz Oakley’s vegan feast, Brontë Aurell’s Scandi classics, brilliant yuletide bakes and our panto recipe special, this is the only magazine you’ll need this year. And don’t miss our extra cocktail desserts collection, plus you could win a luxury cruise for 2019. Here’s to a delicious. Christmas!