Why we eat turkey at Christmas



Today Christmas is celebrated in many English-speaking countries. Many of these countries have a big feast of ‘Christmas’ foods and exchange gifts among friends and family. 

The most popular meat eaten today in the UK is turkey. Did you know that since the 1500s turkey has been eaten at Christmas time, but it is only since Queen Victoria’s time that turkey and Christmas have become synonymous? Over the years the price of turkey has decreased making it now cheap enough for people to buy and, compared to other birds, it is the one that gives the best value for money considering how much meat is on one bird. There are lots of other foods that British people (and many people in English-speaking countries) only eat at Christmas time. The following 2 worksheets focus on these foods.


A. Categorise from smallest to biggest the types of birds that are or were traditionally eaten at Christmas time: turkey, chicken, goose, duck, swan, dove, partridge. (see Christmas Birds)

B.  How many typical Christmas foods can your students name? Food that is ONLY eaten at this time of year. Christmas or plum pudding, Christmas cake, turkey, gingerbread (particularly in the form of a house), chestnuts, mincemeat and mince pies, egg nog, Brussels sprouts – a must on an English Christmas dinner table - bread sauce, Yule log, Pigs in a Blanket (little sausages wrapped in bacon), roast vegetables, boiled peas, …. (see A typical English Christmas Dinner plate)

C. What about listing items related to Christmas? Can your students name ten? Tree, decorations, turkey, carols, Santa Claus, mulled wine (vin brulé), any of the foods mentioned in B, wrapping paper, the Queen’s Speech, Boxing Day, Christmas Eve, …



Download printable version


© ELI s.r.l.

Scritto da Tracey Sinclair