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Monday, 12 December 2011

GETTING READY FOR CHRISTMAS


Christmas is a Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus. Christians believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Christmas means "Feast day of Christ".
The day known as Christmas Day is celebrated on the 25th of December (This date is different for Orthodox Christians). Christmas is one of the holiest times of the year, when it is believed by Christians that God sent Jesus to be born and to live among people and to save sinners. The other important Christian Holy Days are at Easter when the death and resurrection of Jesus are celebrated. The season of preparing for Christmas is called Advent and begins on a Sunday about four weeks before Christmas Day. The Christmas Season (called Christmastide) ends on January 6, known as the Epiphany or the Twelfth Day of Christmas.
Christmas is celebrated by Christian people all over the world, and is also kept as a time of celebration by many people who are not Christian but enjoy the traditions. The traditions are different from country to country, but they nearly always include a feast, giving gifts or cards, and enjoying church or public festivities such as singing Christmas songs.
Christmastime, as it is often called, is in the winter of the Northern Hemisphere, at a time when there were already ancient festivals. Some of the traditions that are used for Christmas are older than Christmas, or come from other non-Christian traditions such as Yule. Other festivals at this time of year include Jewish Hanukkah.
Modern traditions of Christmas often focus on the giving of gifts. Shops use this time of year to sell a lot of goods, and so start advertising for "Holiday Season" shopping for at least a month before Christmas, often showing a Santa Claus.



In English speaking countries, where presents are usually given on Christmas Day, Santa Claus, (or Father Christmas) is usually thought of as coming on Christmas Night, when his magic sleigh is pulled across the sky by reindeer, and he comes into houses through the chimney. The English tradition is to hang up stockings (or long socks) in front of the fireplace. Santa Claus would traditionally fill the socks or shoes with nuts, raisins, chocolates and an orange. Nowadays children usually get much more expensive presents, and have the presents in a big pile under the Christmas tree.
Another Christmas tradition is the sending of cards to friends and relatives. These contain warm greetings and may also have a letter telling all the things that have happened to the person or family during the year.

Video of basic Christmas vocabulary:


Video "A BRIEF HISTORY OF SANTA CLAUS":

Play these quizzes about Christmas:
(1) http://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/en/play-with-friends/quiz-christmas
(2) http://www.tolearnenglish.com/exercises/exercise-english-2/exercise-english-32497.php

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