Christmas in South Africa: The English Christmas Heritage
Christmas celebrations in South Africa share much in common with those of Great Britain, as many white South Africans are descended from English settlers (see also Christmas in England). Although Afrikaners outnumber South Africans of British descent, English-speaking South Africans have wielded much cultural influence due to their political dominance in the twentieth century. Moreover, many Afrikaners come from strict Protestant sects, such as Calvinism, that have not placed much importance on the celebration of Christmas.
Father Christmas, Christmas cards, Christmas dinners that begin with Christmas crackers and end with plum pudding, Christmas stockings, and family excursions to pantomime shows are among the Christmas traditions introduced to South Africa by its English settlers. Some South Africans, following the lead of their Australian colleagues, hang up pillow cases instead of stockings, thereby giving Father Christmas more room to be generous (see also Christmas in Australia). Like the British, South Africans observe Boxing Day on December 26 by giving tips to workers who have served them throughout the year, such as garbage collectors.