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Christmas Vocabulary

adventthe arrival of someone or something important
Adventthe coming (or second coming) of Jesus Christ; the month leading up to Christmas
angela spiritual being acting as a messenger of God (usually shown as a human being with wings)
berrya small round fruit
Bethlehemthe small town in the Middle East believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ
candlea cylinder of wax with a central wick (like string) which burns to produce light
chimneya vertical pipe in a house that allows smoke and gases to escape from a fireplace (Father Christmas traditionally enters a house through its chimney)
Christthe title of Jesus (also used as His name)
Christiana person who believes in Christianity; also an adjective
Christianitythe religion based on the teachings and person of Jesus Christ
Christmasthe annual Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ (Christmas Day is on 25 December)
Christmas cakea rich fruit cake covered with white icing, eaten at Christmas
Christmas carda greetings card that people send to friends and family at Christmas
Christmas carola religious song or popular hymn that people sing at Christmas
Christmas Day25 December, the birthday of Jesus Christ
Christmas Evethe evening or day before Christmas Day (24 December)
Christmas holidaysthe holiday period for about a week before and after Christmas Day
Christmas presenta gift or present given at Christmas
Christmas treean evergreen tree (often a spruce) that people decorate with lights and ornaments at Christmas
crackera decorated paper tube that makes a sharp noise ("crack!") and releases a small toy when two people pull it apart
decorationsomething that adds beauty; ornament
egg-noga traditional Christmas drink made of alcohol with beaten eggs and milk
Father Christmasan 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
fireplacea partly enclosed space in a house where people light a fire for warmth
frankincensea gum used for incense, one of the gifts that the three wise men gave to Jesus
golda yellow precious metal, one of the gifts that the three wise men gave to Jesus
hollyan evergreen plant with prickly dark green leaves and red berries
Jesusthe name of Christ, the central figure of Christianity (believed by Christians to be the Son of God)
Josephthe husband of Mary (the mother of Jesus)
magithe wise men from the East who brought gifts for the baby Jesus
mangera trough for food for horses or cattle (used by Mary as a cradle or bed for Jesus)
Marythe mother of Jesus
mistletoea parasitic plant with white berries, traditionally used as a Christmas decoration
myrrha gum used for perfume or incense, one of the gifts that the three wise men gave to Jesus
nativitythe birth of a person
the Nativitythe birth of Jesus Christ
nativity playa play that people perform at Christmas based on the birth of Jesus
new yearthe start of a year; the period just before and after 1 January
New Year's Day1 January
New Year's Eve31 December
ornamentan object that adds beauty to something; a decoration
presenta thing given to somebody as a gift.
reindeera deer with large antlers found in some cold climates (believed to pull the sleigh for Santa Claus or Father Christmas)
Santa Clausan imaginary being who brings presents for children on the night before Christmas Day (also known as Father Christmas) - traditionally an old man with a red suit and white beard (Santa Claus may be based in part on the historical figure of Saint Nicholas.)
shepherda person who looks after sheep
sleigha sledge or light cart on runners pulled by horses or reindeer over snow and ice
snowwater vapour from the sky that falls as white flakes and covers the ground
stara bright point in the night sky which is a large, distant incandescent body like the sun
the star of Bethlehemthe star that announced the birth of Jesus and guided the wise men to find Him
tinsela decoration consisting of thin strips of shiny metal foil, traditionally used at Christmas
turkeya bird like a large chicken, traditionally eaten at Christmas
white Christmasa Christmas with snow on the ground
Xmasabbreviation or informal term for Christmas

Christmas Expressions

  • Merry Christmas!
  • Happy Christmas
  • Happy New Year!
  • Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
  • Wishing you a prosperous New Year
  • All the best for the coming year
  • Seasons Greetings!

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