For many families, the festive period is the ultimate way to celebrate a year of hard work, good exam results and overall family milestones. While it may not focus on its biblical roots quite as heavily anymore, the Christmas message is still pure as it celebrates family togetherness and looking out for those who are less fortunate. Christmas is estimated to be worth £24 billion in the UK alone, and that figure is set to rise year on year. As well as the presents, one of the biggest parts of Christmas is all of the food we consume throughout the festive period with food and drink making up for £58 million of our average spend. Here are some of the most popular items we consume each year.

Traditionally, the staple meat of many Christmas dinners, according to the Christmas spending habits infographic from Wizzcash, more than ten million turkeys are bought every single year. Ranging from 2-7 kg, many of us have plenty of meat left over to last us well into the New Year, but we don’t mind as turkey and stuffing sandwiches are quite the British delicacy. Even though there are many other meats to choose from for a Christmas dinner, goose and three bird roasts have become more common, turkey still remains the undisputed favourite.

Mince Pies
Even if you don’t like (and is there really anybody who doesn’t like them?) you need mince pies to leave out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. Whether you enjoy them at room temperature, dusted with icing sugar, or hot out the oven served with ice cream or custard, mince pies are simply delicious and all Brits take full advantage of scoffing as many as we can, because as we all know, it is a criminal offence to eat them outside of December.

There’s plenty of excuse to pop a cork over the festive break and feel merry. All of the bank holidays, and not having to go to work, provide enough excuse for a few drinks. Then there is, of course, New Years Eve, where we celebrate the year that has passed, and look forward to the new one, as we count down to midnight with a group of our close loved ones and a few cold beverages. Then of course, mulled wine is a traditional favourite over Christmas, and easy enough to make for yourself by gently heating cheap red wine with orange, sugar and spices. The perfect drink for warming up the winter cockles.

Christmas Puddings
What would any meal be without a dessert, and that is where a traditional Christmas pudding still rounds things out. Soaked in brandy and then set on fire (aren’t traditions crazy?) and ideally served with a creamy brandy sauce. The average Christmas dinner totals over 950 calories, and that’s before you take into account all the drinks and treats on other days throughout the period, which is no wonder why gym memberships go through the roof in January.