It’s almost here! Throw on a reindeer jumper, hang up your stocking, and prepare to eat a mince pie or 20 — the Yuletide season has arrived.
Christmas is a time full of traditions. In the UK, these include religious services, such as midnight Mass; cultural customs, like decorating a fir tree (a tradition borrowed from Germany), and personal family traditions, like making a particular pudding or handmade decorations.
It is also, of course, a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus over 2,000 years ago. Angels declared that the baby born in a manger in Bethlehem was Christ the Saviour — the son of God who had been prophesied for hundreds of years.
Today, most Christians celebrate by giving presents to loved ones or money to charity. Others volunteer their time by creating “shoeboxes” full of gifts for the less fortunate, or helping out at a homeless shelter.
In the Western world, many non-Christians and atheists also celebrate Christmas. In a 2016 survey for YouGov, 76% of people said that “spending time with family” was the most important thing about the holiday.
What do you enjoy the most about Christmas? Are there any other winter traditions that your family celebrates?
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- Take it in turns to complete the following sentence: “The true meaning of Christmas is…”
- Write your own Christmas song. If you need inspiration, this video explains more about the “secret Christmas chord” that makes pop songs so festive.
- Christmas is a time for giving as well as receiving. As a class, organise a small charity event to raise money for a good cause this week.