For Students: Christmas Time
I'm writing this as snow falls outside my window. I'm not really into snow. It's OK for a day or two, but after it becomes irritating, and then starts to piss me off when the snow turns to sludge and I have to watch every step I take in fear of muddying my trousers and shoes. I suppose that makes me sound like Scrooge. Well, it is nearly Christmas... but I don't find it all bad, I do like to see kids (and adults) having fun while they sledge down the hill on their sleigh and have snowball fights
I'm looking forward to going home for Christmas and putting on my Christmas jumper and doing nothing for a few weeks apart from relaxing and overindulging. Food is everywhere at Christmas, it is perfectly normal and perfectly OK to put on a few lbs at this time of year. It's also the time of year where we lose track of what day, date, and time it is.
I am a fan of Christmas, but not so much of the packed shops. I prefer to buy everything online and buy wrapping paper or a gift bag for my presents. I think children's presents should always be wrapped, it gives them that curious feeling before, that excited feeling during, and then hopefully.... a feeling of joy and not disappointment.
Where ever and whenever your Christmas is this year, I hope it's a good one and you've been a good boy or girl this year and Father Christmas brings you something nice. Here are some Christmas words to keep your English going over Christmas.
Christmas jumper – the jumpers with Christmas themed pictures on
Christmas dinner – the main meal at Christmas
Christmas cracker - it looks like this and see below for what it is used for
Christmas Eve – the day before Christmas
Christmas tree - the tree connected to Christmas
Christmas lights - the decoration of lights usually in and around a town and city
Christmas card – a greeting card to give someone before Christmas. See below.
Christmas wreath - usually goes outside of the house on the door. Looks like this
Christmas presents - 'gifts' we give at Christmas*
Christmas carol - songs sung at Christmas
Christmas party** – a party that companies have for their employees at Christmas time
*we always give presents at Christmas and on birthdays, not gifts.
** another company word for party is 'do' especially when it comes to work related parties.
Feelings you might feel at Christmas
Let down - when you expected something and don't get what you want
Ecstatic - when you are very very happy
Restless - when you can't relax because you're thinking about something (like what presents Father Christmas is going to bring you)
Hungover - the feeling you get when you drank too much alcohol the day before
Full - when you eat too much food and feel uncomfortable
Anxious - the feeling of worry or uncertainty about something that's going to happen
Surprised - when something happens that you didn't expect. A stronger version is shocked which can be used for both positive and negative emotions.
Relieved - that good feeling that something has finished or is over
Annoyed - the feeling of getting a little irritated about something or someone. Pissed off is a stronger version.
Things we do in the UK at Christmas
When the table is laid, it is also laid with a thing called a Christmas Cracker. Inside you will find a toy, a silly joke, and a coloured paper crown which is put on the head's of everyone at the table before they eat.
In the UK it is very common to exchange Christmas cards before Christmas. Inside is a simple greeting message. You are expected to exchange Christmas cards with almost everyone you know, including your neighbours even if you don't know them that well.
Children and adults usually buy advent calendars at the start of December to count the days to Christmas. Each window on this advent calendar has a chocolate behind it which is eaten each day closer to Christmas (if you can control yourself)
There are many different names for the big red man, but in the UK we call him Father Christmas
A decoration which can be found in the UK is mistletoe. If you find yourself underneath the mistletoe with someone else, then you should kiss.
Turkey is usually the meat of choice for Christmas dinner, but that doesn't stop people from choosing something else like beef, pork, lamb, or having more than one type of meat.
Have you got a Christmas jumper?
Is your company going to have a Christmas do?
Have you ever been let down by a present at Christmas?
Do you prefer wrapping presents or using gift bags?
Which tradition from the UK do you find weird?
What do you have for Christmas dinner?
www.luke.lv - English native speaker from England based in Lviv, Ukraine
Into/fan – like
Irritating - when something makes you feel a little angry
sludge – when snow turns to melting ice
sledge – to travel on a sledge/sleigh down or through snow
snowball fight – when people throw snowballs at each other
overindulge – to eat or drink too much
put on (weight) – to gain weight
lose track of – when we don't know what the time or number is
packed – very busy
wrapping paper – the colourful paper used to cover presents
gift bag – a bag with a cool design or picture to put a present in
Weird - strange