With Christmas only around the corner, learning English Christmas vocabulary may not be on your priority list. We are all very busy either shopping for perfect presents or spending time with our family friends (of course it could be both!). To help you better understand British Christmas traditions, I’ve put together a short list of English vocabulary words related to Christmas.
English Christmas vocabulary
Santa’s little helpers – the little elves who help Santa Claus (Father Christmas) to make and deliver the presents.
Christmas Eve – the night before Christmas Day. All the children are excited and cannot sleep as they wait for the Big day.
Christmas Stocking – the children hang a long, big stocking on their bed or over the fire hoping for some extra gifts.
Letter to Santa – a wish list of presents and toys written a few weeks before Christmas and posted to the North Pole (where Santa lives!!).
Secret Santa – in many offices there is a tradition to buy gifts for colleagues. You know the person for whom you are buying the present but they do not know who bought it. Usually the present is humorous.
12 Days of Christmas – traditionally the period of Christmas lasts for 12 days from 25th December to 6th January.
Christmas Cracker – a decoration on the Christmas table. There is one at each place. The crackers are made of paper and have a small toy a paper hat and usually a silly joke inside. The cracker is pulled between two people. It makes a small “crack noise” when it breaks open.
Christmas Carol – traditionally Christmas Carols are sung in the lead up to Christmas. Children at school, small groups of volunteers in the street collecting for Charities and in many churches. They either have a Christmas theme (Santa) or a theme relating to the birth of Jesus.
Tinsel – coloured paper which glitters and shines and is used as decoration around the Christmas Tree or other furniture in the home.
Mistletoe – a small green bush with white berries which are used as part of the Christmas decorations. Tradition is that it is hung over a door in the home. When a girl stands under the mistletoe a young man can kiss her.
Boxing Day – the 26th of December. The day after Christmas Day. It is a national holiday in Great Britain. A day for eating the food leftover (leftovers) from Christmas Day. Historically the name comes from the name for a Christmas present (Christmas Box). Servants and labourers were given presents on the 26th December by their lords and masters.
If you celebrate Christmas in your country, I wish a very Merry Christmas to you and your family. After Christmas don’t forget to check our attractive plans for English Skype classes!