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Christmas material

40,000,000 Christmas Puddings!

That’s a lot of Pudding!

Advent the coming of Jesus Christ; the month leading up to Christmas

angel a spiritual being acting as a messenger of God (usually shown as a human being with wings)

berry a small round red fruit on the holly tree often seen in wreaths

Bethlehem the small town in the Middle East believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ

candle a cylinder of wax with a central wick (like string) which burns to produce light

chimney a vertical pipe in a house that allows smoke and gases to escape from a fireplace (Father Christmas is believed to enter a house through its chimney)

Christ the title of Jesus (also used as His name)

Christmas the annual Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ (Christmas Day is on 25 December in the Western World, and on 7 January in the Eastern World)

Christmas cake a rich fruit cake covered with white icing, eaten at Christmas

Christmas card a greeting card that people send to friends and family at Christmastime

Christmas carol a religious song or popular hymn that people sing at Christmas

Christmas Day 25 December/7 January, the birthday of Jesus Christ

Christmas Eve the evening or day before Christmas Day (24 December)

Christmas holidays the holiday period for about a week before and after Christmas Day Also called the Christmas Season or Christmastime

Christmas present a gift or present given at Christmas

Christmas tree an evergreen tree (often a spruce) that people decorate with lights and ornaments at Christmas

cracker a decorated paper tube that makes a sharp noise (“crack!”) and releases a small toy when two people pull it apart

decorations something put up in or on the house or added to a Christmas tree for beauty; ornaments

egg-nog a traditional Christmas drink made of alcohol with beaten eggs and milk

Father Christmas an imaginary being who brings presents for children on the night before Christmas Day (also known as Santa Claus) – traditionally pictured as an old man with a red suit and white beard

fireplace where people light a fire in their homes for warmth; Santa is believed to down them.

frankincense a gum used for incense, one of the gifts that the three wise men gave to Jesus

gold a yellow precious metal, one of the gifts that the three wise men gave to Jesus

holly an evergreen plant with prickly dark green leaves and red berries

Jesus the name of Christ, the central figure of Christianity (believed by Christians to be the Son of God)

Joseph the husband of Mary (the mother of Jesus)

Magi Another name for the Eastern wise men who brought gifts for the baby Jesus

manger a wooden box for horse or cattle food (Mary used as a cradle/bed for Jesus)

Mary the mother of Jesus

mistletoe a white-berried plant that grows on other trees, traditionally used as a Christmas decoration. It was also considered sacred by the Druids

myrrh a gum used for perfume or incense, one of the gifts that the three wise men gave to Jesus

the Nativity the birth of Jesus Christ

nativity play a play that people perform at Christmas telling of the birth of Jesus

ornament an object that adds beauty to something; a decoration

poinsettia traditional red or white Christmas plant with large colourful leaves

reindeer a deer with large antlers found in some cold climates (believed to pull the sleigh for Santa Claus or Father Christmas)

Santa Claus an imaginary being who brings presents for children on the night before Christmas Day (also known as Father Christmas) - traditionally an old man with a red suit and white beard

shepherd a person who looks after sheep

sleigh a sledge or cart on runners pulled by horses or reindeer over snow and ice

stable a small barn or simple, open building for farm animals

the Star of Bethlehem star that announced the birth of Jesus and guided the wise men to find Him

tinsel a decoration consisting of thin strips of shiny metal foil, traditionally used at Christmas

turkey a bird like a large chicken, traditionally eaten at Christmas

wreath White Christmas a circular decoration of evergreens or holly, sometimes with candle or bow a Christmas with snow on the ground. Also a famous holiday song and film.

Yule ancient Druid mid-winter festival celebrated by burning a large log of wood

Xmas abbreviation or informal term for Christmas

25 December is Christmas Day. In Britain, people celebrate this day with a great Christmas dinner. The main course of the meal is usually turkey. And the traditional dessert is Christmas pudding. This year more than 40,000,000 people will finish their Christmas dinner with Christmas pudding!

Christmas pudding is a rich, boiled pudding made with flour, suet and dried fruit. There are several customs associated with Christmas pudding. By tradition, a silver coin is hidden inside the pudding when it is made. A few holly leaves are placed on top. And before the pudding is cut open and served, brandy is poured over it and set alight. Then it is eaten with thick, runny cream.

Although Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, two of these customs remind us of His death. The holly leaves are a reminder of Christ’s “Crown of Thorns”. And it is said that the flames from the brandy represent the Passion. And the silver coin hidden in the pudding? The person that finds it is guaranteed to receive great health, wealth and happiness!


brandy a strong alcoholic spirit made from wine

crown the round headdress that a king or queen wears

dessert sweet course at the end of a meal

flour powder from grain, used to make bread, cakes etc.

holly shrub with prickly green leaves and red berries

the Passion the suffering and death of Jesus Christ

pudding a steamed dish made with suet and flour

suet fat from the insides of cows, sheep, etc

thorn sharp, spiky part of a plant’s stem (like a rose)

turkey a large bird, like a big chicken

Note: “pudding” can be countable or uncountable. When it’s countable, we think of the individual pudding(s). When it’s uncountable, we think of the food in general. Did you notice its countable/uncountable use in the title to this article?

  • 40,000,000 Christmas Puddings! [countable]

  • That’s a lot of Pudding! [uncountable]

Traditional Christmas Expressions

  • Merry Christmas! · Happy Christmas! (British)

  • Happy Holidays! · Seasons Greetings!

  • Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Away in a Manger

(Christmas Carol)

5.jpg (3997 bytes)Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep in the hay.
The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.
I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle ‘til morning is nigh.
Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,
And take us to heaven, to live with Thee there.

manger (noun) a box for food for horses or cows
crib (noun) cot; small bed for a baby
hay (noun) dry grass for animals to eat
cattle (noun) cows
low (verb) to moo; to make the noise of a cow
awake (awoke, awoken) (verb) to wake up; to waken;
to wake up; to stop sleeping
cradle (noun) cot; small bed for a baby
’til (preposition) until; till; up to that time
nigh (adjective) near; close; imminent; not far
thee (pronoun) you (Middle English Language)
bless (verb) to give God’s love or make holy

Christmas Quiz

1. He’s old, fat and likes to wear red clothes. He brings children their presents on Christmas Day.

2. It’s cold and white and falls from the sky.

3. This is the name of a Christmas carol. Silent what?

4. What is the name of the day before Christmas Day?

5. What is Santa Claus’ favorite color?

6. Many people go there on Christmas Day. They go there to pray, and to sing carols.

7. It’s green and brown. People put presents under it and open them on Christmas Day.

8. On Christmas Day, we say Happy Christmas! What’s another word for Happy?

9. You can see and hear this in a church. People ring it.

10. On January first, we say Happy New _________.

11. What kind of animal is Rudolph? Rudolph the red-nosed what?

12. This is something you make with snow. It looks like a man.

13. How does Santa Claus enter a house? He comes down a what?

14. Many people eat this delicious bird roasted on Christmas Day.

15. You can see this at night high in the sky.

16. What season does Christmas come in?

17. Children (and adults) receive these on Christmas Day.

18. Who helps Santa Claus with his work?

19. In what month does Christmas fall?

20. This is something the mailman brings at Christmastime. He puts it through the letter box.

21. It’s sweet. We eat it on Christmas Day.

Christmas Party Games

Pass The Parcel...

Put a special gift into a box for the classroom (It may be a new book, chalk etc.) Wrap it in may different layers of wrapping paper.  Have the children sit in a circle and pass the package around to the music.  When the music stops have the child unwrap one layer of paper and follow the instructions given (i.e., sing a song).   Continue on playing music until all layers have been unwrapped.  Have the last person share with the group.

Santa Claus Scramble...

Write the letters S-A-N-T-A C-L-A-U-S on individual index cards.   Do this four times, making four sets, or forty cards.  Place the cards in a brown paper bag.  To play - have the players divide into two teams on opposite sides of the room.  Pass the bag that contains the letters.  The teams alternate in picking a letter.  The first team to combine their letters to spell SANTA CLAUS wins!

Candy Relay...

Divide the kids into teams and have them form lines.  Give the first player in each line a pair of mittens.  Give everyone a piece of wrapped candy.   At a signal, the first player in each team puts on the mittens, unwraps the candy, and pops it into their mouth, the second player does the same, and so on, down the line.   The team that finishes first wins.

Santa Snowball Toss...

Cover the bottom and sides of a rectangular cardboard box with construction paper. On a piece of paper, draw a Santa face with a large mouth. Paint or color the face with markers.  Glue it to the box and cut out the large mouth. Cover six large cotton balls with plastic wrap. To play, Place Santa against a wall. Give each player six tries at throwing balls into Santa’s mouth. See who feeds Santa the most.

Snowman Game...

Give everyone a piece of paper and a pen/pencil and tell them we’re going to draw a snowman but with their eyes closed.  The results are hilarious.


First, draw three the 3 circles on top of each other like a snowman.
Draw the 3 buttons.
Draw the eyes, nose, mouth.
Draw a hat.
Draw stick arms.
Then they can open their eyes.  You can vote who did the best.

Christmas Art

Gingerbread People...

Have Children make gingerbread people cut out of brown construction paper. Add yarn and raisins for face, clothes and decorations.

Christmas Chain...

Have the children make paper chains with enough links to make one for each day leading up to Christmas. Attach the chains to a paper bell.

Add the following verse:

How many days till Christmas?
It’s very hard to tell
Take off a link every night
When the Sandman casts his spell.
And Christmas Eve will be here
By the time you reach the bell.

The children take off one link every night to count down the days until Christmas.

Christmas Angel...

Make the body out of a triangle and a circle for her head. Fold a coffee filter in half and glue on a sheet of black construction paper. Then glue the body and then the head. Make a face on the head: eyes closed, oval nose sideways and oval mouth. Add decoration on the bottom of her dress and by her bodice. Use a glitter pen for her halo.


Cover styrofoam cups with tin foil.  Attach a string/thread up through the center of the bell.  Hang them around the room.

Christmas Trees...

Cut out Christmas trees from green construction paper.  Hole punch the top of the tree. Have the children decorate the tree with pieces of yarn, glitter, and fruit loops.   Be sure to decorate both sides before hanging up.

Christmas Songs And Fingerplays

Here’s a Little Candle...

(I’m a Little Teapot)

Here’s a little candle dressed
in white,
Wearing a hat of yellow light.
When the night is dark,
then you will see
Just how bright this light can be.
Here’s a little candle straight
and tall,
Shining it’s light upon us all.
When the night is dark,
then you will see
Just how bright this light can be.
Here’s a little candle burning bright.
Keeping us safe all through the night.
When the night is dark,
then you will see
Just how bright this light can be!

Old St. Nicholas...

(Old McDonald Had a Farm)

Old St. Nicholas had a tree
(form tree with arms)
Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho!
And on that tree he had some horns (blow horns)
Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho!
With a toot, toot here and a toot,
toot there
Here a toot, There a toot,
Everywhere a toot, toot!
lights – flash, flash
candy – yum-yum
drums – boom-boom
bells – ring-ring
stars – twinkle, twinkle
snowflakes – flutter, flutter

Reindeer Pokey...

(The Hokey Pokey)

You put your antlers in.
You put your antlers out.
You put you antlers in and you shake them all about.
You do the Reindeer Pokey and you turn yourself around.
That’s what it’s all about!
You put your hooves in....
You put your red nose in....
You put your fluffy tail in...
You put your reindeer body in...

I’m A Little Pine Tree...

(I’m A Little Teapot)

I’m a little pine tree – as you can see,
All the other pine trees
are bigger than me.
Maybe when I grow up-then I’ll be
A great big merry Christmas tree!

Where Is Santa...

(Are you sleeping?)

Where is Santa? Where is Santa?
Here I am!  Here I am!
Merry, merry Christmas
Merry, merry Christmas
Ho, Ho, Ho!  Ho, Ho, Ho!

I’m A Little Christmas Tree...

I’m a little Christmas Tree
Shining, shining merrily!
A star at my head
Gifts at my feet
And on all my branches
Candy so sweet!

Who Makes Christmas Fun?

Frosty, Frosty are you the one
Who makes Christmas so much fun?
Oh, no, no, no.  It’s not me
Who makes Christmas so merry!
I sing and play each snowy day
But with the sun, I melt away!

Rudolph, Rudolph are you the one
Who makes Christmas so much fun?
Oh no, no, no.  It’s not me
Who makes Christmas so merry!
On Christmas Eve, I light the way
But home I go with Santa’s sleigh
Santa, Santa, are you the one
Who makes Christmas so much fun?
Oh, no, no, no. It’s not me
Who makes  Christmas so merry!
I do bring gifts to girls and boys
But Christmas is much more
than toys!
Christmas is peace, laughter and fun
And sharing love with everyone!

Christmas Bells...

(The Muffin Man)

Oh, do you hear the Christmas bells,
The Christmas bells,
the Christmas bells?
Oh, do you hear the Christmas bells
That ring out loud & clear?
Oh, can you see our Christmas tree,
Our Christmas tree,
our Christmas tree?
Oh, can you see our Christmas tree?
It fills the room with cheer.
Oh, do you smell the gingerbread,
The gingerbread, the gingerbread?
Oh, do you smell the gingerbread?
I’m glad Christmas is here.

We’ll Decorate The Tree...

 (The Farmer in the Dell)

We’ll decorate the tree,
We’ll decorate the tree.
Heigh-ho, it’s Christmastime,
We’ll decorate the tree.
The presents we will wrap,
The presents we will wrap.
Heigh-ho, it’s Christmastime,
The presents we will wrap.
Carols we will sing,
Carols we will sing.
Heigh-ho, it’s Christmastime,
Carols we will sing.

Christmas Colors...

(Three Blind Mice)

Red, green, white; red, green, white,
Christmas colors, Christmas colors.
Red is the color on holly wreaths,
Green is the color of Christmas trees,
White is the color from stars so bright.
Red, green, white; red, green, white.

Let’s All...

(We Wish You A Merry Christmas)

Let’s all do a little clapping,
Let’s all do a little clapping,
Let’s all do a little clapping,
And spread Christmas cheer.
2.Jumping, 3.Twirling,
4.Stretching, 5.Bending

There Was A Man...


There was a man in a big red suit and
Santa was his name-O
S - a - n - t -a, S - a -n - t - a,
S - a - n - t - a
and Santa was his name-O

Christmas Presents...

See all the presents
by the Christmas tree.
(Hands in sweeping motion.)
Some for you
(Point to children.)
And some for me.
(Point to self.)
Long ones,
(Hands spread wide apart.)
Tall ones,
(Measure from the floor.)
Short ones, too.
(Hands close together.)
And here is a round one
(Make circle with arms.)
Wrapped in blue.  
Isn’t it fun to look and see
All the presents by the Christmas tree?

A Shy Santa...

Isn’t it the strangest thing,
That Santa is so shy?
(hide face with hands)
We can never, never catch him,
(make fingers run)
No matter how we try.
It isn’t any use to watch,
(hold hand to eyes and look)
Because my parents said,
“Santa Claus will only come
When children are in bed!”
(shake finger)

Gingerbread Man...

Stir a bowl of gingerbread
(stir as in bowl)
Smooth and spicy brown
Roll  it with a rolling pin
up and up and down
(Pretend to roll)
With a cookie cutter, 
(pretend to cut out)
make some little men.
Put them in the oven
(place in oven)
till half past ten!

Compiled by Erin Bouma