All about Christmas in English, what you need to know?

Christmas in English, traditions, songs, in English

Christmas in English style: Learning English through holiday traditions

Christmas, one of the most awaited and fun holidays of the year, not only brings joy and warmth to our hearts, but also becomes a great opportunity to deepen our study of the English language. In this article, we’ll look at how learning Christmas traditions in English-speaking countries can be a fun and useful tool for improving your language skills.

Thanks to its long history and rich cultural heritage, Christmas in English becomes a world of its own, where language, traditions and festive spirit intertwine, creating a unique context for learning English.

And it is important to note that the chosen topic becomes especially relevant during the holiday season, when the entire English-speaking world willingly immerses itself in Christmas rituals and traditions. Therefore, let’s begin this exciting journey of learning language and culture through the prism of Christmas, where every word, every custom, every carol will become our teachers and interlocutors in the world of the English language.

If you want to practice vocabulary with English: Christmas and New Year vocabulary in English

The history of сhristmas in England: heritage and traditions

Christmas in England plays a huge role in the culture and history of the country, from ancient times to the present day. This holiday combines centuries-old traditions and new rituals, making it a special time for the British and English-speaking peoples of the world.

Ancient traditions: Christmas in England has its roots in medieval rites, when winter holidays were celebrated, which included secular and religious celebrations. It is here that the word “Yule” – a symbol of the winter solstice – is mentioned for the first time.

Religious significance: Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, and although Christmas in England is celebrated as a holiday that unites various traditions, the religious aspect remains key. During this period, the religious rites that accompany the birth of Christ play an important role in the lives of many English people.

Traditional rites: Attending church services, sharing dinners with family and friends, and hanging Christmas decorations are just a few of the traditions that are rooted in the Christmas holidays in England. Even today, many people actively follow these customs, which makes this period special for the country’s culture.

Learning the language through Christmas: Understanding and learning English through Christmas opens up new opportunities for deepening knowledge. Learning the traditional words used during the celebration, as well as familiarizing yourself with the terms associated with Christmas rituals, is a great way to expand your vocabulary.

Christmas in England is not only a holiday, but also an incredible opportunity to learn the language and culture through centuries of traditions, which to this day make this time of the year special for the British and everyone who wants to immerse themselves in the English-speaking world.

Christmas terms and vocabulary

The Christmas period in England is saturated with unique terms and expressions that are worth knowing to fully experience the atmosphere of celebration. Let’s explore the key words and phrases associated with Christmas and see how they are used in sentences.


  • Explanation: The holiday and celebration period with English and Germanic roots.
  • Example: Christmas is a time for family and joy.


  • Explanation: Used to describe the winter season, especially in relation to Christmas.
  • Example: We love the festive spirit of Yuletide.

Deck the Halls:

  • Explanation: An expression that means decorating one’s home with Christmas decorations.
  • Example: We’re going to deck the halls with lights and ornaments.


  • Explanation: A plant traditionally used for this holiday; a promise of a kiss to those standing beneath it.
  • Example: They met under the mistletoe and shared a Christmas kiss.


  • Explanation: A fabric sock hanging on the fireplace filled with gifts.
  • Example: I hope Santa fills my stocking with goodies.


  • Explanation: The act of singing Christmas songs under windows or on the streets.
  • Example: We went caroling in the neighborhood last night.


  • Explanation: The place where Christmas fires are often arranged, and Christmas stockings are hung.
  • Example: Let’s gather around the fireplace and sing some carols.

Boxing Day:

  • Explanation: The day after Christmas when gifts are traditionally exchanged, and families are visited.
  • Example: We always have a big family dinner on Boxing Day.


  • Explanation: Christmas decorative plant material with red berries and green leaves.
  • Example: Let’s hang some holly on the front door for a festive touch.

Nativity scene:

  • Explanation: A miniature replica of the Christmas story with figures of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and other characters.
  • Example: Setting up the nativity scene is a cherished family activity.

Boxing Day Sales:

  • Explanation: Special discounts and sales that occur in stores after Christmas.
  • Example: The Boxing Day sales are a great opportunity to find bargains.

Understanding these terms and expressions will not only allow you to communicate freely during the Christmas celebration but also fully enjoy the warm atmosphere of this wonderful period.

Christmas Table Traditions

Christmas dinner in England is a time when families come together at the table to savor the taste of traditional dishes. Let’s explore some of them, describing and expanding our English vocabulary.

Roast Turkey: The centerpiece of the Christmas table is a succulent roast turkey, often seasoned with herbs and served with a rich gravy.

  • Example: We gather around the table to enjoy the festive ambiance and savor the delicious roast turkey.

Christmas Pudding: Christmas pudding is a dense, fruity dessert traditionally made with suet, dried fruits, spices, and often soaked in brandy before serving.

  • Example: The Christmas pudding, adorned with a sprig of holly, is ceremoniously brought to the table and set ablaze for a spectacular presentation.

Mince Pies: The aroma of freshly baked mince pies filled the kitchen, signaling the arrival of Christmas and the warmth of holiday gatherings.

  • Example: It’s a delightful tradition to enjoy mince pies with a dollop of brandy butter during the Christmas season.

Brussels Sprouts: Brussels sprouts, though often met with mixed opinions, are a staple side dish during the festive season, typically sautéed or roasted.

  • Example: Despite their polarizing reputation, my family insists on having Brussels sprouts as part of our Christmas dinner.

Mulled Wine: Mulled wine, a warm and spiced red wine, is a comforting beverage enjoyed during the cold winter months and particularly popular around Christmas.

  • Example: Sipping on a mug of mulled wine by the fireplace is the perfect way to unwind on a chilly Christmas evening.

Cranberry Sauce: Cranberry sauce, a sweet and tangy condiment made from cranberries, is served alongside roast meats to complement their flavors.

  • Example: The tartness of cranberry sauce adds a delightful contrast to the richness of the roasted turkey.

Stuffing: Stuffing, a savory mixture of breadcrumbs, herbs, and other ingredients, is often used to stuff the cavity of the turkey before roasting.

  • Example: The aroma of the savory stuffing wafted through the kitchen as the Christmas turkey cooked to perfection.

These dishes become part of the Christmas celebration, and by describing them, we expand our vocabulary and understanding of English cultural traditions.

Christmas Songs and Carols

Christmas songs and carols are an integral part of the holiday season in English-speaking countries. Let’s explore some popular Christmas songs and carols in a convenient format for learning lyrics and expanding vocabulary.

“Jingle Bells”

Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way.
Oh! what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.

Description: “Jingle Bells” is a classic Christmas hit that tells the joyous tale of sleigh riding and the sound of bells.

“Silent Night”

Silent night, holy night,
All is calm, all is bright.
Round yon Virgin, Mother, and Child,
Holy infant so tender and mild.

Description: “Silent Night” is a gentle Christmas song that celebrates the tranquility and holiness of the night of Jesus’ birth.

“Deck the Halls”

Deck the halls with boughs of holly,
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.
‘Tis the season to be jolly,
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.

Description: “Deck the Halls” is a cheerful anthem to decorations and joy, urging to adorn the home and revel in the festive season.

“We Wish You a Merry Christmas”

We wish you a Merry Christmas,
We wish you a Merry Christmas,
We wish you a Merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year!

Description: “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” is a lively greeting hymn expressing wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Studying the lyrics of these Christmas songs provides an opportunity to deepen your vocabulary, become familiar with traditions, and learn expressions characteristic of the holiday season.

Christmas customs and traditions

Christmas in English-speaking countries stands out with its uniqueness and a multitude of traditions that add a special charm to the festive period. Let’s explore some popular Christmas rituals and traditions, using words and phrases to describe and explain them.

Christmas Eve Service

  • Explanation: Evening services in churches on December 24th are a significant religious ritual. Believers gather for communal prayers, songs, and the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Christmas Caroling

  • Explanation: Christmas caroling is a beloved tradition where groups of people go from door to door, singing festive songs to spread joy and good cheer.

Stocking Stuffers

  • Explanation: Filling Christmas stockings with small gifts and treats is an age-old Christmas tradition. It is believed that Santa Claus leaves these surprises for good children.

Christmas Crackers

  • Explanation: Christmas crackers are festive paper tubes filled with small toys, jokes, and paper crowns. They are pulled apart with a bang during Christmas dinners.

Advent Calendar

  • Explanation: An advent calendar is a special calendar used to count the days in anticipation of Christmas. Each day, a door is opened to reveal a small gift or treat.

Boxing Day Traditions

  • Explanation: Boxing Day, celebrated on December 26th, involves giving and receiving small presents and acts of charity. It’s a day to visit friends and family. This tradition emphasizes the spirit of generosity and extends the joy of giving beyond Christmas Day.


  • Explanation: The tradition of standing under mistletoe and exchanging kisses is believed to bring happiness and love.

Christmas Vocabulary

Christmas brings along a unique lexicon and expressions that help express joy and festive spirits. Let’s explore key terms and phrases associated with Christmas, along with brief explanations and examples of usage:

Christmas (Xmas)

  • Explanation: A festive Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
  • Example: We celebrate Christmas with family and friends.

Christmas Eve

  • Explanation: The evening of December 24th, the night before Christmas.
  • Example: On Christmas Eve, we attend a candlelight service at the church.

Christmas holidays

  • Explanation: The period from Christmas to New Year when people relax and celebrate.
  • Example: We usually travel during the Christmas holidays to visit relatives.

Christmas tree

  • Explanation: A tree decorated and designated as a symbol of Christmas.
  • Example: Decorating the Christmas tree is a cherished family tradition.

Christmas buzz

  • Explanation: The festive hustle and bustle and preparation for Christmas.
  • Example: The Christmas buzz in the shopping malls is overwhelming.


  • Explanation: Having a magical and festive Christmas atmosphere.
  • Example: The cozy decorations make the house feel so Christmassy.

Christmas stockings

  • Explanation: Fabric socks hung and filled with gifts.
  • Example: Children hang Christmas stockings by the fireplace in hopes of receiving gifts.

Send Christmas card

  • Explanation: Sending wishes and greetings through cards.
  • Example: Every year, we send Christmas cards to our relatives abroad.

Sing Christmas Carols

  • Explanation: Performing traditional Christmas songs.
  • Example: Carolers gathered on the street to sing Christmas carols.

Santa Claus

  • Explanation: A popular figure, a benevolent magician who brings gifts.
  • Example: Children write letters to Santa Claus with their Christmas wishes.

Present, gift

  • Explanation: An object given to someone for Christmas.
  • Example: Opening presents on Christmas morning is an exciting tradition.

Feast of Christ’s birth

  • Explanation: Celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
  • Example: The feast of Christ’s birth is celebrated with a special church service.


  • Explanation: A plant used for decoration and kissing.
  • Example: Couples often kiss under the mistletoe during the holidays.


  • Explanation: A plant with sharp leaves used in decorations and wreaths.
  • Example: The wreath on the door is adorned with red holly berries.


  • Explanation: A spiritual figure, often used as a decoration.
  • Example: A golden angel tops the Christmas tree.


  • Explanation: Adding ornaments or objects for embellishment.
  • Example: Families gather to decorate their homes for Christmas.


  • Explanation: Objects used to adorn a space.
  • Example: The Christmas tree is adorned with colorful decorations.

Sweets, candies

  • Explanation: Sweet dishes and confections popular during Christmas.
  • Example: Children love to receive sweets and candies in their Christmas stockings.

Sleigh, reindeer

  • Explanation: A seat where Santa Claus brings gifts on a sleigh pulled by reindeer.
  • Example: Santa Claus rides his sleigh pulled by reindeer.


  • Explanation: A vertical passage in a building, through which Santa Claus can pass.
  • Example: Children believe that Santa Claus enters the house through the chimney.

Santa Claus’s sack

  • Explanation: A large sack carrying gifts by Santa Claus.
  • Example: Santa Claus’s sack is filled with toys and goodies for the children.


  • Explanation: Marking a special event or holiday.
  • Example: Families gather to celebrate Christmas with a festive meal.

Gather together

  • Explanation: Bringing people together in community or family.
  • Example: We gather together to sing carols and share the joy of Christmas.

Exchange presents

  • Explanation: Giving and receiving gifts between people.
  • Example: Families often gather around the Christmas tree to exchange presents.

Put presents

  • Explanation: Placing gifts prominently for opening.
  • Example: Children eagerly put presents under the tree on Christmas Eve.


  • Explanation: Expressing greetings or wishes.
  • Example: We greet each other with warmth and joy during the Christmas season.

Christmas Greetings and Wishes

  1. Merry Christmas!
    • Explanation: A traditional and widely used greeting during the Christmas season, expressing joy and good wishes for the holiday.
    • Example: “Merry Christmas to you and your family! May it be filled with love and happiness.”
  2. Sending the warmest Christmas wishes to you!
    • Explanation: Conveying heartfelt and affectionate wishes to someone for a joyous and festive Christmas celebration.
    • Example: “I’m sending you the warmest Christmas wishes, hoping your days are filled with warmth and joy.”
  3. May this Christmas be bright and cheerful!
    • Explanation: Expressing a desire for the Christmas celebration to be vibrant, joyful, and filled with happiness.
    • Example: “May this Christmas be bright and cheerful, bringing laughter and wonderful memories.”
  4. May all your days be merry and bright and may your Christmas be white!
    • Explanation: Wishing for continuous happiness and joy in one’s life, and hoping for a white, snowy Christmas, which is often associated with a picturesque holiday scene.
    • Example: “May all your days be merry and bright, and may your Christmas be white with snow, creating a magical atmosphere.”

Common Christmas Idioms

  1. Christmas comes but once a year.
    • Explanation: Recognizing that the Christmas season is an annual event, emphasizing the uniqueness and special nature of this festive time.
    • Example: “Let’s make the most of the holidays because, you know, Christmas comes but once a year.”
  2. To cancel someone’s Christmas.
    • Explanation: A colloquial expression indicating the intention to ruin or spoil someone’s holiday spirit or plans.
    • Example: “If you don’t finish your work on time, your boss might just cancel your Christmas with extra assignments.”
  3. To be dressed up like a Christmas tree.
    • Explanation: Referring to someone who is overly or extravagantly adorned or decorated, often with bright and flashy clothing or accessories.
    • Example: “She walked into the party dressed up like a Christmas tree with all those sparkling jewels and glittery attire.”

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