Christmas explained!

CHRISTMAS

Hello everyone!

Since Christmas is just a week away, I decided to write a post in which I will go through some Christmas related things. Let’s begin with some grammar and then we’ll go on to some useful Christmas vocabulary.

Initial capitals

  • It is conventional to use capital letters with the names of holidays. Therefore, we write Christmas with the first capital letter.

  • We also use capital letters with personal names, for example:

Santa Clause, Father Christmas, Jesus Christ, Virgin Mary

  •  When writing “Wishing you a merry Christmas!”, only Christmas should be capitalized. The word merry should only be capitalized if it is at the begging, as in “Merry Christmas!”.

The use of articles with Christmas

  •  Normally, we do not use an article with Christmas.

I really like Christmas.

  • But, we do use an article when we talk about a specific Christmas. For example:

It was a Christmas I’ll never forget.

  • We also do not use articles with compound nouns containing the word Christmas.

We usually go to church on Christmas Eve.

Christmas as a noun premodifier

  •  First, let me explain what is a premodifier. A premodifier is a word that somehow modifies the meaning of the word that comes after it.

For example, ice hockey. In this example, ice modifies the noun hockey and changes its meaning. If you say hockey, it can mean both field hockey and ice hockey. But if you use a premodifier, in this case ice, and say ice hockey, you specify what type of hockey you are talking about.

  • The word Christmas is a very common premodifier, so we have combinations like:

Christmas cake, Christmas carol, Christmas card, Christmas Eve, Christmas decorations, Christmas tree, Christmas presents, and many others.

Here is a story for you, in which plenty of Christmas related vocabulary is used.

Every Christmas, Santa Clause (or, in Britain, Father Christmas), a fat, cheerful old man with a long white beard gathers his helpers, the elves, and they make gifts which he then distributes to children all over the world. The night before Christmas, on Christmas Eve, Santa leaves the North Pole with a sleigh (=a kind of carriage) pulled by reindeer (=a kind of deer) called Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph. That night, children hang stockings (=long socks) at the end of their beds and leave some cookies (=sweet biscuits in special shapes) and a glass of milk for Santa near the fireplace. Santa slides down the chimney and leaves small presents in the stockings and the big ones under the Christmas tree.

 

The day before Christmas, families gather around and decorate the Christmas tree. The kid and the father decorate the tree, while the mother bakes some delicious cookies and prepares dinner. There is everything, from gingerbread (=a sweet cake of soft biscuit flavoured with ginger), plum pudding (= a hot pudding like a dark fruit cake, traditionally eaten in Britain at Christmas), to eggnog (=an alcoholic drink made by mixing beer, wine, etc. with eggs and milk), punch (a hot or cold drink made by mixing water, fruit juice, spices, and usually wine or another alcoholic drink) and cider (a drink made from the juice of apples).

The whole house smells like cloves (= a type of spice, look like small nails), nuts, cranberries (= a small sour red berry) and other spices (=various types of powder or seed used in cooking).

 

While decorating the house with ornaments (=objects used as decoration), garlands (= flowers or leaves that are hung in a room as decoration), tinsel (=strips of shiny material like metal, used as decorations) and a Christmas wreath (=a circle of flowers or leaves, traditionally hung on doors as a decoration at Christmas), everyone is singing carols (=Christian religious songs sung at Christmas) and having fun.

On Christmas morning, after opening the presents, the whole family gathers for breakfast and after that, if there is snow outside, children put on their mittens, jackets, caps, and boots, and go play outside. Some like to go ice-skating, others play with snowballs. Winter and Christmas bring joy to children, and parents are also joyful to see them happy.

Merry Christmas to all of you! Hope you have great time with your loved ones.