I have defined some of the words (underlined) in the blog post, which you can add to your Personal Dictionary. Click on the Excel icon to download the word list to your PC or mobile device, which you can thereafter import into your Personal Dictionary. They are also listed below.
Scroll down to the bottom for links to a crossword and word search using words from this post, as well a YouTube video.
Eponymous – a person or thing giving their name to something
Commercialise – manage an organization in a way designed to make a profit
Nowadays – at the present time, in contrast with the past
Adhere – believe in and follow the practices of
Reside – have one’s permanent home in a particular place; be situated
Conclusive – evidence or argument likely to have the effect of proving a case; decisive
Aristocracy – the highest class in certain societies
Derive – arise from or originate
Alternatively – as another option or possibility
Brave – showing courage
Proof – evidence or argument establishing a fact or the truth of a statement
Monarch – a sovereign head of state, especially a king, queen, or emperor
Poignant – evoking a keen sense of sadness or regret
Bumper – exceptionally large, fine, or successful

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. At least that was the opinion of American singer, Andy Williams, in the eponymous Christmas hit, released almost 60 years ago. Was the festive time better then? Certainly it was less commercialised than it is nowadays, but a lot of the traditions people in the UK adhere to, are ones that been have followed for longer than even Andy’s song.

In Germany, where I have resided since the mid 90s, Christmas starts earlier, with the gift-giving and the main meal being served on what for the UK is Christmas Eve – the 24th. For us, it’s a normal day, with many people working either a half or full day. Certainly for shop workers, who really only get the next day – Christmas Day – off, because the next day – Boxing Day – is the first day of the sales.

On the subject of Boxing Day: it is not conclusive how the day got its name. Some believe it’s because a ‘box’ is another word for a tip, which the aristocracy would give to their house servants a day after Christmas. Another belief is that the name derives from the time before we wrapped our presents in paper, and a box was used instead. The boxes were put out for collection the following day, which became ‘boxing’ day. Alternatively, it might be because when families meet up over the Christmas period, the fighting starts on the second day!

I’ve got ahead of myself somewhat, because we haven’t spoken about Christmas Day yet. The day starts with the present giving, often very early for parents of young children.

Some families will go to a church service in the morning, others for a walk. Some brave souls in the village my parents, as well as other seaside towns around the country go for a swim. See the photo above for proof. You can see that some swimmers do it in fancy-dress and many of the brave souls do it to earn money for a charity.

Another tradition which nearly every citizen of the UK adheres to, is to watch the speech given by the serving monarch. This year’s speech by King Charles will be particularly poignant in the year we lost his mother, Queen Elisabeth II. This is shown in the early afternoon, normally after families have eaten their Christmas dinner. 

On the subject of dinner and food, I’ve decided I’ll make this a bumper Christmas 2-part blog. I’ll endeavour to publish it around the Christmas days.



To test your knowledge, why not do a crossword puzzle, using words from this text?

Click here for instructions on how to play.

To test your knowledge, why not do a word search puzzle, using words from this text?

Click here for instructions on how to play.

Learn English through short stories - Christmas

Click on the image to watch a video about a New Year’s Eve celebration

To avoid spam, all comments will be held for moderation and posted once checked. All comments whether positive or negative will be published.