To help you learn Christmas vocabulary, this ESL Christmas reading page has a reading passage and some questions about the passage for you to answer. When you read you can learn new vocabulary well as you have time to stop and look up words, so it is important to do this reading exercise to improve your vocabulary knowledge.
You should take your time to read the passage on this page and look up any words you do not know, so you can learn their meaning. If you need help with any of the Christmas words used you can look at the ESL Christmas vocabulary page that has a list of words with definitions.
Once you have understood the ESL Christmas reading passage well (you may have to read it several times to do this), you can try to answer the five questions that follow it. When you have answered all the questions you can use the get score button to see how many you got correct and what the answers should have been.
Christmas Celebrations in Britain
Every year in December Christians around the world celebrate Christmas to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. Besides Christmas Day on 25 December, Christmas celebrations in Britain also include the Advent (four Sundays before Christmas), Christmas Eve (24 December), the Queen’s message (on Christmas Day) and Boxing Day (26 December).
According to the church calendar, the Advent is the official beginning of the Christmas run-up. The Advent is marked by the Advent calendar and the Advent candles. The Advent calendar is usually a thin rectangular card with 24 or 25 doors and a Christmas scene behind each door. It is opened every day from the 1st of December until the 24th or 25th of December. On the other hand, the Advent candle can be a candle with 25 marks on it, 24 candles for each night from 1 December through Christmas Eve, or four candles for the four weeks before Christmas.
On Christmas Eve, some people spend the night carol singing, attending a midnight church service or going out to the pub with their friends or family. For young children, Christmas Eve is the time when Father Christmas or Santa comes and brings them presents. Traditionally before going to bed, stockings are left out for Santa and in the morning the children will check the stockings for presents.
The main celebration, Christmas Day, is the time for gift giving and family gathering. The average family starts opening presents around 8am and then they sit down to breakfast. Afterward, they can attend church or cook a big Christmas dinner, which is usually served around 3pm or 4pm with the traditional turkey as the main menu.
Another ritual on Christmas Day is watching the Queen’s speech. The tradition began in 1932 by King George V and continues to this day. The Queen’s message is broadcast on television and radio and most people in Britain watch or listen to it while enjoying their Christmas dinner.
Boxing Day, which is observed on 26 December, was traditionally the day to open the Christmas box and share the contents with the poor. Today, Boxing Day is a bank holiday and is primarily known as a shopping holiday as many shops and retailers open very early and offer sales and deals.