CHRISTMAS VOCABULARY

Advent the arrival of someone or something important. The month leading up to Christmas
Angel  a spiritual being acting as a messenger of God (usually shown as a human being with wings)
Bethlehem  a small town in the Middle East, birthplace of Jesus Christ
Boxing Day 26th December
Chimney  a vertical pipe in a house that allows smoke and gases to escape from a fireplace(Father Christmas traditionally enters a house through its chimney)
Christmas  The word “Christmas” comes from “Christ” and the “Holy Mass” .The abbreviation is Xmas
Christmas cake/pudding  a cake made of dried fruit soaked in alcohol, covered with white icing eaten on Christmas day
“ card a greeting card that people send to friends and family at Christmas
“ carol a religious song or popular hymn that people sing at Christmas
“ Day 25th December,
“ Eve  the evening or day before Christmas Day (24th December)
“ holidays  the holiday period before and after Christmas Day     (Christmastide)
“ gift/present  a gift or present given at Christmas Christmas gifts may include flowers, books, clothes, Christmas cards, wine, etc. Children ‘s gifts are usually put in stockings and hung near the chimney
“ stockings The tale that inspired the tradition of the Christmas stockings deals with a kind noble man who had three daughters. His wife had died and the daughters and their father were left in a state of sorrow. The daughters had to do all the work in the house. When the daughters became young and eligible for marriage, the poor father could not afford to give the huge dowries to their husbands. One evening the daughters, after washing their stockings, hung them near the fire place to be dried. Santa Claus, moved by the troubles of the girls, came in and put three bags of gold in the stocking hanging by the chimney. The next morning the family noticed the gold bags and the nobleman had enough for his daughters’ marriage. Since then children have been hanging Christmas stockings
“ lights outdoor lights, usually in town squares or main streets which are put up and lit during the Xmas period
“ tree  an evergreen tree (often a fir tree) decorated with things such as colored balls and fairy lights (small lights) .I t may be real or artificial
Cracker  a small paper tube which is pulled from each end by two people at Christmas time. It makes a sharp bang (or ‘crack’) when it is pulled and inside there is a toy and a joke written on a small piece of paper
Egg-nog  a traditional Christmas drink made of alcohol with beaten eggs and milk
Father Christmas  an imaginary being who brings presents for children on the night before Christmas Day (also known as Santa Claus) – traditionally an old man with a red suit and white beard (Santa Claus may be based on the historical figure of Saint Nicholas.)
Fireplace  a partly enclosed space in a house where people light a fire for warmth

Holly an evergreen plant with prickly dark green leaves and red berries

Magi  the wise men from the East who brought gifts for the baby Jesus

Manger  a trough for food for horses or cattle (used by Mary as a cradle or bed for Jesus)
Mass  the Christian ceremony based on Jesus Christ’s last supper with his disciples, the twelve men who were his followers
Mistletoe  a parasitic plant with white berries, traditionally used as a Christmas decoration). It is hung from the ceiling around Christmas time. When people are under the mistletoe at the same time, they have to kiss each other
The Nativity  the birth of Jesus Christ
New Year’s Day  1st January
New Year’s Eve  31st December
Shepherd  a person who looks after sheep
Sleigh  a sledge or light cart on runners pulled by horses or reindeer over snow and ice
Star a large, distant incandescent body like the Sun
The Star of Bethlehem  the star that announced the birth of Jesus and guided the wise men to find Him
Tinsel  a decoration consisting of thin strips of shiny metal foil, traditionally used at Christmas
Turkey  a bird like a large chicken, traditionally eaten at Christmas
Wrapping paper  specially decorated paper (usually with pictures of snowmen)
Wreath  a circle of fresh or dried flowers or leaves which people hang on their front door around Christmas time

   NEW YEAR
Scottish people are famous for the ways they celebrate the coming of the New Year so it’s no surprise that a lot of words connected with New Year are Scottish
Auld Lang Syne (Times gone by):a Scottish song that people sing at New Year to remember old friends
To first foot (v): to be the first person to visit friends or relatives in the New Year. If the visitor is tall, dark and handsome, he (or she!) will bring the people in the house good luck for the rest of the year
Hogmanay (or New Year’s Eve): Nobody is sure where this word come from, but in might mean: new morning/gift at new year/ day of great love/ holy month
The Bells bells ring out at midnight to signal that the New Year has arrived. In the UK, radio and TV often broadcast the chiming of the bells from Big Ben in London

 

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