Christmas tree

Christmas tree

domingo, 20 de diciembre de 2009


In English speaking countries, children don't get their presents on Christmas eve (24 December). Santa comes at night when everyone is asleep. Santa's reindeer can fly and take him from house to house. They land on the roofs of the houses and then Santa climbs down the chimney to leave presents under the Christmas tree.

In the morning of Christmas (25 December), children usually get up very early to unwrap their presents. Then they have plenty of time to play with their toys.

Christmas dinner is served in the early afternoon. Most people eat turkey and sprouts and a Christmas pudding.

26 December is called Boxing Day. It hasn't always been a holiday. People used to go back to work on that day where their bosses gave them little Christmas presents in small boxes. That's why the day is called Boxing Day.

Why is 26 December called Boxing Day? Do you have a similar celebration in your country?

For more information about Boxing Day, click here:

Christmas in New Zealand

Did you know that New Zealanders celebrate Christmas twice a year???

New Zealand is on the southern hemisphere. Our winter is their summer, so New Zealanders celebrate Christmas in the warm summer sun. Many flowers and trees are in bloom at this time of the year, for example the pohutukawa. The pohutukawa tree grows on North Island, mainly in coastal areas and has lovely red blossoms. Therefore New Zealanders call the pohutukawa their Christmas tree.

As it is usually quite warm on Christmas Day, New Zealanders can eat their Christmas dinner outside. Many people have a picnic or a barbecue. And some people even have a traditional Maori hangi: they dig a hole in the ground and heat it with hot stones. Then they put meat and vegetables into this hole, cover the hole and let the food cook inside. The hangi is served in the afternoon or evening; after the delicious meal, people often sit around and sing Christmas carols.

Some New Zealanders can't get enouth of Christmas- they celebrate it twice a year: on 25 July, which is mid-winter in New Zealand. So if you go to New Zealand in July, you may find hotels and restaurants fully decorated for Christmas!!!

If you want to have a look at a pohutukawa tree, click here:

This is what hangi looks like:

Irish Christmas Traditions

Ireland, like most countries, has a number of Christmas traditions that are all of its own. Many of these customs have their own root in the time when the Gaelic culture and religion of the country were being supressed and it is perhaps because of that they have survived into modern times.

The Candle in the window

The placing of a lighted candle in the window of a house on Christmas eve is still practised today. It has a number of purposes but primarily it was a symbol of welcome to Mary and Joseph as they travelled looking for shelter.

The candle also indicated a safe place for priests to perform mass as, during Penal Times this was not allowed.

The Laden Table

After evening meal on Christmas eve the kitchen table was again set and on it were placed a loaf of bread filled with caraway seeds and raisins, a pitcher of milk and a large lit candle. The door to the house was left unlatched so that Mary and Joseph, or any wandering traveller, could avail of the welcome.


The placing of aring of Holly on doors originated in Ireland as Holly was one of the main plants that flourished at Christmas tie and which gave the poor ample means with which to decorate their dwellings.

All decorations are traditionally taken down on Little Christmas (January 6th) and it is considered to be bad luck to take them down beforehand.

How about listening to a well-known Christmas carol and do the activities that Isabel Pérez suggests in her webpage?

sábado, 19 de diciembre de 2009

Why don't you practise your English and learn about Christmas in some English speaking countries at the same time?

Christmas is a beautiful season. You can use your free time to practise your English and learn things about how they celebrate it in English speaking countries such as Canada, The USA, Australia, Great Britain, Ireland and even South Africa!!

Check these front pages and you can explore how they are preparing for Christmas in some of these countries: