Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Alex Case is offline Site Contributor
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    110
    Post Thanks / Like

    Christmas and New Year Dictionary/ Encyclopedia Part Two - D to L

    As usual, feedback on mistakes, typos, being too culturally specific, inaccuracies and omissions gratefully accepted:

    Decorations – See CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS

    Eggnog – A drink made from milk or cream with sugar, spices and raw eggs, usually with alcohol added. It is popular in the USA, Canada and the UK during the winter, especially around Xmas.

    Elf – See ELVES

    Elves – The small magical people who make presents that SANTA delivers on Xmas day

    Fairy lights (Br. Eng) – The small, colourful lights that people hang on their Xmas trees and in their windows. Americans would just say CHRISTMAS LIGHTS.

    Father Christmas –The traditional British name for the person who is supposed to bring children’s presents on Xmas day. The American version SANTA is becoming more popular in the UK nowadays.

    Festive season (the) – A way of talking about Christmas that is meant to include HANUKKAH and KWANZAA, or sometimes to avoid the mention of religion at all.

    Fire place – The place around the fire that children traditionally hang their CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS from.

    Fireworks – Rockets that explode in the air, making beautiful coloured lights. Some local governments provide a firework display to celebrate the New Year, especially during a big celebration such as the new millennium.

    Frankincense – An aromatic product of trees which was used to make perfume and incense. One of the presents of the THREE WISE MEN.

    Gift – See CHRISTMAS PRESENTS

    Hanukkah – The eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights that occurs in November or December. Because Hanukkah and KWANZAA happen at around the time of Christmas, inclusive expressions like HAPPY HOLIDAYS and FESTIVE SEASON are becoming more politically correct than the specific mention of Christmas.

    Hogmanay – Scottish New Year celebrations, which are much bigger and more important than a Scottish Xmas or New Year in the rest of the UK.

    Holly – A bush with sharp leaves and red berries that is often used as a CHRISTMAS DECORATION and pattern on CHRISTMAS CARDS and WRAPPING PAPER.

    January sales – Traditionally the sales with the biggest discounts of the whole year, and nowadays starting as soon as the shops reopen in December. It is traditional for people to queue outside the shops, sometimes even overnight, in order to rush in and buy the biggest bargains.

    Kris Kringle – Although this expression comes from Christkindl (Christ Child), another tradition for who brings CHRISTMAS PRESENTS, in America it has now become another way to say SANTA.

    Lap – The top of your thighs when you sit down that you can rest things on, hence the name of a laptop computer. Children traditionally go to a department store to sit on FATHER CHRISTMAS’s lap and say what they want for Christmas, at which point they receive a small gift.

    Letter to Santa – Children traditionally write a letter to SANTA telling him what CHRISTMAS PRESENTs they want, and usually reassuring him that they have been good all year. Some postal services provide a special address to write to and actually reply to the children as Santa.

    Lunar New Year – Sometimes called Chinese New Year, this is a bigger celebration than the Western version in China and Korea, and is also marked (though not celebrated) in Japan. It is usually in January. The Vietnamese New Year holiday Tet is on the same day.

  2. #2
    Vidor is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    145
    Post Thanks / Like

    not a teacher

    American contributions....

    Father Christmas –The traditional British name for the person who is supposed to bring children’s presents on Xmas day. The American version SANTA is becoming more popular in the UK nowadays.
    Or "Santa Claus".

    Festive season (the) – A way of talking about Christmas that is meant to include HANUKKAH and KWANZAA, or sometimes to avoid the mention of religion at all.
    "Holiday season" or "the holidays", and including New Years' and Thanksgiving. You might wish someone "Happy holidays!".

    Fire place – The place around the fire that children traditionally hang their CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS from.
    "Fireplace" as one word.

  3. #3
    Alex Case is offline Site Contributor
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    110
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Christmas and New Year Dictionary/ Encyclopedia Part Two - D to L

    Thanks. I think I knew the fireplace one, but somehow slipped through.

    I'd say in the UK Santa the short form is popular but the longer form isn't really. Anyone who's had more recent British Xmases than me want to back me up or correct me on that?

    Do you mean that the "festive seasons" includes Thanksgiving, or just that you can say "Happy holidays" from Thanksgiving?

  4. #4
    Vidor is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    145
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Christmas and New Year Dictionary/ Encyclopedia Part Two - D to L

    I think the "holiday season" runs from Thanksgiving to New Year's. "Happy holidays" is something you say to people in December.

  5. #5
    Alex Case is offline Site Contributor
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    110
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Christmas and New Year Dictionary/ Encyclopedia Part Two - D to L

    So, do you think it has nothing to do with being PC and including Kwazaa and Hannukah?

  6. #6
    Vidor is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    145
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Christmas and New Year Dictionary/ Encyclopedia Part Two - D to L

    Quote Originally Posted by alexcase View Post
    So, do you think it has nothing to do with being PC and including Kwazaa and Hannukah?
    Oh, I imagine it probably does. Certainly Hanukkah has been built up as a holiday beyond its importance in the Jewish religion.

  7. #7
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,167
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Christmas and New Year Dictionary/ Encyclopedia Part Two - D to L

    Quote Originally Posted by alexcase View Post
    So, do you think it has nothing to do with being PC and including Kwazaa and Hannukah?
    My own feeling, and it is only a feeling, is that the PC approach to this festive season is far more apparent among Americans that among British people.

    Some British people are aware that non-Christian cultures have festivals at this time of year, and some local authorities now send out 'Season's Greetings' rather than 'Merry Christmas' cards for this reason.

    But, the majority of people appear to be unaware. This may be because there appear to be far fewer church-going Christians in the UK than in the USA. Not only we we know virtually nothing about Hanukkah or Kwazaa, but most of us these days don't know much about Christmas.

Similar Threads

  1. Christmas and New Year dictionary/ encyclopedia Part One - A to C
    By Alex Case in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 23-Dec-2010, 13:20
  2. the better part of a year & full holiday season
    By Eway in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 24-Mar-2009, 14:58
  3. take part in Christmas celebrations/festivities
    By angliholic in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 29-Dec-2007, 13:10
  4. Grammatically correct Christmas and New Year Greeting
    By mireksvenda in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 26-Oct-2007, 20:48

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •