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Liverpool English Centre

  /  Our Blog   /  Spread Festive Feelings with These Sparkling English Christmas Greetings

Spread Festive Feelings with These Sparkling English Christmas Greetings

‘Who is Santa’s favourite singer?’
‘Elf-is Presley’
It’s Christmas again and it is one of the jolliest times of the year! So what better time to start with some humour.

Using English Vocabulary to Discuss Christmas

What does the festive season mean to you?

In the English-speaking world, one of our favourite times of year to celebrate is Christmas.

For some it is a religious celebration and for others it is a chance to chill-out with friends and family.

It is also cheerful time to be studying in the UK, however you may find yourself a little confused by unfamiliar holiday vocabulary or phrases.

Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas yourself, it’s always good to know how to express good wishes like you would at any other time of year.

Below we explain some Christmas-related phrases and then we discuss what the festive season means to different people around the world .

Basic Nouns

  • Greeting – friendly message usually sent at a special occasion
  • Festive season – the Christmas period
  • Tradition – old custom that happens regularly and has become the norm
  • Christmas carols – hymns or songs sung at Christmas time
  • Joyous – feeling of happiness
  • Angel – a messenger of God (usually shown as a human being with wings)
  • Christmas card – greetings card sent to friends and family at Christmas
  • Christmas Eve – the day before Christmas Day (24th December)
  • Cracker – decorated paper tube that makes a loud crack and releases a small toy when two people pull it apart

These are typical words and expressions that people use when talking about or at Christmas. After learning them them you can put them into practice!

Common English Christmas Greetings

We’ve put together some typical English Christmas greetings below to help you spread love and joy this season.

  • Season’s greetings

– general greeting to wish a person good health over Christmas. It’s quite impersonal, so it’s perfect for someone you don’t know too well.

  • Merry Christmas

– common greeting specific to Christmas. You’ll see it written down and hear it spoken aloud many times during the Christmas period.

  • Happy holidays

– perfect greeting for someone you’re not very familiar with and if you’re not sure if they celebrate Christmas or not.

  • Wishing you good tidings

– ‘Tidings’ is an  old English word that we wouldn’t normally use today. It means “news” and if you go to church, you may hear it  in Christmas hymns, which is why some people still write it in cards.

‘Tis the Season to feast on Christmas Idioms

To get you in the festive spirit, we’ve compiled a list of all the Christmas idioms below. They are all commonly used expressions and they do not always relate to their literal meaning of words. There are many Christmas idioms to familiarise yourself and we’ve compiled just a few of some of the most popular ones for you to learn.

  • A white Christmas – a snowy Christmas

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.

  • All the trimmings – all the traditional accompaniments to a meal

I’m going to have a Christmas feast with all the trimmings.

  • Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle – don’t get stressed by trying to make the perfect Christmas

It is very busy in the city today, don’t get your tinsel in a tangle when doing your Christmas shopping.

  • It’s the thought that counts – kindness behind an act is more important than the act itself when considered imperfect

I don’t like my present but it’s the thought that counts.

  • To deck the halls – to decorate your home festively

We hope these Christmas idioms will have helped get you in the festive mood, if you weren’t already, you can also use them in everyday conversation, like me!

Christmas Around the World

In recent years, Christmas has been becoming increasingly popular internationally and probably the most favourable yearly festival. However, people celebrate Christmas differently in different cultures. The differences include the date, decorations and activities.

  • Ukraine

In Ukraine, Christmas trees are decorated with spider webs because and old legend tells a story of a spider that once visited a poor family on Christmas day and magically turned all the webs in the house into gold. So, decorating a tree with spider webs become a traditional custom.

  • Australia

Christmas in Australia is summertime and therefore, Australians tend to decorate their Christmas trees with summer things, such as seashells and other natural materials.

  • Serbia

On the two Sundays before 25th of December, Serbian children tie up their parents respectively. Then their parents have to present them presents as a ransom to be set free.

  • Italy

Italian children are usually presented gifts as late as January 6th and instead of Santa Claus with his big sack of toys there is a character named La Befana who takes charge of delivering gifts on a broomstick rather than a sleigh.

Overall, Christmas is a special time for many people worldwide with the main purpose of commemorating the event of Jesus’s birth and welcoming the New Year with loved ones. Nevertheless, around the world people celebrate the event with different methods, decorations and activities.

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