by Brian December 24, 2021

Warning: this blog post is a ‘grammar-free zone’. Instead, it’s all about Christmas!

I’m sure you’ve all heard of Christmas, even if you don’t celebrate it yourself. You probably know that Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus in the Christian tradition – the clue is in the name ‘Christ – mas’.

In Ireland the most important day of the Christmas period is December 25th – Christmas Day!
December 24th is known as Chistmas Eve. In the middle of the night on Christmas Eve Santa Claus 🎅 comes down the chimney and leaves presents 🎁 for children. If you live in an apartment or a house without a chimney, well you have to leave the door or window open!

Santa only leaves presents for good children 🧒🧒🏽. The amount of presents children get has nothing to do with how rich 💰💰 their parents are (!)

Most families have a feast on Christmas day. They eat turkey 🦃 and ham 🍖. Vegetarians eat a nut roast 🌰 or just lots of vegetables 🥕🥦🥔!

It is an Irish tradition to have a drink or two on Christmas Day 🍺🍷🥂🥃🥴.

So that’s a short summary of how we celebrate Christmas in Ireland.

The Origins of Christmas


But what are the origins of Christmas? I did a bit of research and found out some interesting facts!

  • Jesus’s birth was not identified as December 25th until the year 221 by a Christian historian called Sextus Julius Africanus
  • The Roman Empire started to celebrate Christmas in the year 336
  • Christmas became a major Christian celebration in the 9th century
  • The name Santa Claus comes from Saint Nicholas, born in Turkey in the 3rd century
  • Santa Claus became popular in the USA in the 1840’s
  • Santa Claus’s red costume was popularised by Coca-Cola in the 1920’s
  • The Christmas tree tradition began in Strasbourg (then Germany, now France) in 1605
  • In Armenia Christmas is January 6th while in Ethiopia it is on January 7th

Want to learn more about Christmas? Watch the videos at the Brittanica website.
And here’s a full-length documentary about the origins of Santa Claus which you might find interesting.

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Tough: difficult/hard/not easy

Prediction: A statement that we make about the future

To predict: To make a statement about the future

Weather forecaster: A man/woman who uses weather instruments to predict weather conditions

Weather forecast: A prediction of weather conditions that gives us information about winds, temperatures etc.

Economist: A man/woman who is an expert in the subject of economics

Horoscope: a short prediction for people born under a particular sign, especially found in newspapers and magazines

Phrasal Verbs

To break down: To separate out into different parts / to analyze Example: I didn’t know how to solve the problem until I broke it down into small parts and solved one piece at a time.


Can’t make head or tail of something: unable to understand something/ unable to make sense of something Example: I really don’t like Ikea furniture. I can never make head or tail out of the instructions for putting the furniture together. I always do it wrong!!

Pull one’s hair out: To be nervous/anxious or frustrated with a situation Example: English idioms make me want to pull my hair out! They are so confusing!!

To be on about: to mean Example: Did you understand anything he was saying yesterday. I was listening but I have no idea what he was on about!!

Test Yourself

Complete sentences using idioms from this post.


1 / 3

I think we should ask someone for directions. We are completely lost and I ______________ of this map.

2 / 3

I am not sure if I understood what the teacher _____________ when he was explaining the present perfect continuous tense in class yesterday. Could you help me understand it please?

3 / 3

Marian feels like ______________. Every time she thinks she understands a new piece of grammar in English, something happens and she gets totally confused again! Tomorrow she is going to ask her English teacher for some advice.

Your score is

The average score is 18%


Want more? There’s more about using ‘will’ and ‘going to’ to talk about the future in Part 2 of this post.

Thank you for reading our post. You’ll find more English grammar tips elsewhere on our site and if you’d like information on our English courses in Dublin, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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