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FEATURE
Christmas is Coming!
Read about Christmas traditions and words you often hear

COLUMNS
Language Interference
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Introduction
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Christmas is Coming!
By Elizabeth Potter

Glossary

> Main Article

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Advent calendar
a picture of a scene with 24 little windows, each concealing a picture of some seasonal object or figure, one of which is opened on each of the first 24 days of December

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Boxing Day
26 December, a public holiday, on which householders traditionally gave gifts of money to servants and tradespeople

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Christmas box
money given at Christmas to people such as milkmen and postmen, to thank them for their services throughout the year

Christmas cake
a rich cake made of dried fruit, and covered with marzipan and icing

Christmas card
a greetings card sent to family and friends at Christmas

Christmas carol
a song about the birth of Jesus sung at Christmas

Christmas cracker
a tube of coloured paper containing a small gift, that makes a bang when pulled apart

Christmas Day
25 December, the day that Christians celebrate as the day when Christ was born

Christmas dinner
a traditional meal eaten at Christmas, often consisting of turkey followed by Christmas pudding

Christmas Eve
24 December, the day before Christmas Day

Christmas present
a gift that is given at Christmas

Christmas pudding
a rich mixture of dried fruit, sugar, flour, suet, eggs, spices and other ingredients; traditionally made at home and steamed twice, once after being made, and for the second time just before eating; now often bought from the supermarket and microwaved rather than steamed; served for dessert on Christmas day, turned out on to a plate and topped with flaming brandy and a sprig of holly.

Christmas stocking
a large sock that children hang at the end of their bed before going to sleep on Christmas Eve. It is filled with presents while they sleep

Christmas tree
traditionally, and still in many homes, a coniferous tree of some kind, brought indoors and decorated with strings of small lights called fairy lights (originally with candles), and other decorations. In many families, the decoration of the tree in the days before Christmas is one of the highlights of the festivities and the sign that Christmas have really begun. Often the family's presents are placed round the tree before being opened. Many families prefer an artificial tree that doesn't drop its needles and can be brought out year after year

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Father Christmas
also known as Santa or Santa Claus. A jolly old man with a long beard and a red coat and hat who takes presents to children all round the world, driving his magic reindeer-drawn sleigh through the wintry night skies on Christmas Eve. Based on an early Christian bishop called Saint Nicholas who had a reputation for being kind to children

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grotto
a room or area decorated to look like a snowy cave, where Father Christmas receives visits from children who tell him what they want for Christmas

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mincemeat
a kind of sweet food made of dried fruit and spices, and used to fill mince pies

mince pie
a small pie consisting of a pastry case filled with mincemeat

mistletoe
an evergreen parasitic plant with small white berries that grows on woodland trees such as oak. Pieces of it are hung up indoors and a person who stands under it is expected to give a kiss to anyone who asks for one

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Santa (Claus)
see Father Christmas

St Nicholas
see Father Christmas

stuffing
a savoury mixture of bread, vegetables and herbs, and sometimes sausage meat or other ingredients such as chestnuts, that is placed inside a bird before it is roasted

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wreath
a circle of evergreen leaves, berries etc that people hang on their front door at Christmas

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