From Michael Caine to Abbey Clancy, celebrities tell us what their Christmas traditions look like

Every family has their own special Christmas tradition – whether it’s a common practice like carolling, or something more unusual like the German custom of putting a pickle on the tree.

Even though they might spend their day-to-day lives on red carpets or TV sets, celebrities are just like us and have their own special festive traditions.

We sat down with some of our favourite stars to find out what they are…

Sir Michael Caine, actor

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>(Isabel Infantes/PA)</figcaption>
(Isabel Infantes/PA)

“Probably as a reaction to the Christmases of my childhood when we received plenty of love but not much else, Christmas is an extravaganza, with presents galore, decorations everywhere, the biggest tree the room will hold, loads of crackers, a huge turkey and a crowd of family and friends. I do the cooking. I do the best turkey and the best roast potatoes and the best stuffing you’ve ever had. And the grandchildren do a concert – they come out and sing and dance.”

Katie Piper, presenter and philanthropist

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>(Ian West/PA)</figcaption>
(Ian West/PA)

“We do the whole biscuits and beer outside the front door for Santa and the reindeer, and we write a little letter and put that outside. We’ve carried it on for [my daughter] Belle each year, because it’s what my parents did for us. Belle is so young and terribly excited.”

Ant Middleton, SAS hero and TV presenter

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>(John Stillwell/PA)</figcaption>
(John Stillwell/PA)

“One of my favourite memories as a kid was waking up to a stocking and we’ve carried that on for our kids. My wife Emilie and I make sure they’re not crammed with sweets, although there’ll be a few, but mostly it’s tiny toys. I love that they have that little time to themselves before they come into our bedroom and we go downstairs for the big presents around the tree. Creeping into their rooms to hang them on their beds late at night is one of my favourite rituals – it’s all about the Christmas ritual.”

Abbey Clancy, model

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“Normally, our Christmas Eve tradition, we’d all go for a meal and then get home, put our matching Christmas pyjamas on, leave Santa and Rudolph a little snack and then it’s kids to bed, because they get up practically in the middle of the night to open their pressies.”

Anna Paquin, actor

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>(Tony DiMaio/PA)</figcaption>
(Tony DiMaio/PA)

“You can’t get them very easily in America, but Christmas crackers are apparently an integral part of a UK Christmas. The times we’ve been hosting Christmas in Los Angeles, having to go on a scavenger hunt for Christmas crackers so that I don’t offend everybody on his (British husband Stephen Moyer’s) side!”

Paul Ainsworth, TV chef

“I was born in Southampton, then I lived in London for 10 years, so moving to Cornwall, we’ve created this Christmas Day walk on the beach. I haven’t done the whole mince pie and milk thing yet because [my daughter] Aricie is a bit young. But I’ve heard about Santa’s footprints in snow, or even chimney soot – and we do have a log fire in our house.”

Catherine Fulvio, TV chef and food writer

“The children are allowed to get out of bed at any stage, within reason, to see what Father Christmas has bought them. But there are also wrapped gifts from family, and they’re not allowed to be unwrapped until after lunch. Then you’ve got playing games after Christmas lunch; Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly, Cluedo, you name it. It gets a little competitive, but it’s something that’s always done at Christmas – and we will always will do it.”

Matt Edmondson, Radio 1 DJ

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“As kids, we never had stockings – we always used pillow cases. No one else that I’ve met uses pillow cases, because their parents have got them stockings or special sacks for Santa, but we used an old pillow case at the end of the bed. Because in my mind, that’s what Christmas should be, I have to put a pillow case out now.”

Anna Richardson, TV presenter

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>(Yui Mok/PA)</figcaption>
(Yui Mok/PA)

“I’m the daughter of a vicar, so Christmas had a huge impact on me as a child. At school, I was in the choir, so I overdose on singing whenever and wherever I can. Every year, I go to church for the Nine Lessons and Carols service on Christmas Eve and belt out carols whilst gripping on to a candle. I lay a stocking on the end of the bed for my beloved (from Father Christmas… obviously), and then wake at 6am and start singing deep celebratory choral music (to Classic FM) whether Sue [Perkins] likes it or not. Then, and only then, are we allowed to open our presents.”

Aston Merrygold, singer

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>(Victoria Jones/PA)</figcaption>
(Victoria Jones/PA)

“[My son] Grayson is so young, we’re just trying to enjoy this Christmas as much as possible with him – but in years to come, it will be getting him ice skating and taking him to Winter Wonderland and leaving out the cookies, carrots and milk for Santa, and reading him the stories. Those are all the things I remember when I was growing up.”

Eamonn Holmes, TV presenter

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>(Yui Mok/PA)</figcaption>
(Yui Mok/PA)

“In my household, when I was a kid was growing up, Santa made sure nothing was wrapped. Everything was made, batteries were put inside and it was all ready to go. I yearned for those days for my four children growing up and I tried my best, but Ruth [Langsford] doesn’t believe in this process whatsoever. Ruth believes in lots of wrapping paper and bows.”

Michelle Collins, actor

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>(Ian West/PA)</figcaption>
(Ian West/PA)

“I put Christmas presents in a pillow case at the end of the bed on Christmas Eve. My mum used to do it for us, and I still do it for my daughter, even though she’s 22. I always put chocolate and fruit, satsumas, in the bag as well, and then I’ll have one of those old-fashioned stockings. I always give her one of those. And we still have some under the tree, too.”

Cheryl Baker, singer

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>(Owen Humphreys/PA)</figcaption>
(Owen Humphreys/PA)

“My mum and dad got married on Christmas Day, and even though they’ve now both died, we still toast them and say ‘Happy anniversary’. I also decorate the house ridiculously, with balloons and everything. My husband [Steve Stroud] goes mad, but I can’t help it. It’s something we used to do when I was young and that’s it. Christmas means the world to me.”

- Press Association



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