24th December Christmas Eve
Unlike in Spain in England less emphasis is placed on Christmas Eve, much more is made of Christmas Day 25th and Boxing Day 26th. Carol singing, midnight church services and more importantly going out to the pub are some of the activities that many people enjoy. (not too many drinks though as the 25th is a long day.)
Night time on Christmas Eve though is a very exciting time for young children. It is the time when Santa or Father Christmas comes. They hang up their stockings and go to bed. Santa and his elves make all the toys for Christmas at his home in Lapland. On Christmas Eve he packs all of the toys onto his sleigh and rides across the sky with his 9 reindeer (Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and of course … Rudolf!). The most famous one is Rudolf who is always the one at the front of the sleigh, to lead the way with his bright red shiny nose. In the morning when the children wake up they open their presents. Traditionally on Christmas Eve mince pies and sherry (or milk) are left out for Santa and nowadays carrots are left for his reindeer. Most children are in bed way before midnight waiting for Santa to visit.
Christmas Eve = Nochebuena
Reindeer = Reino
Sherry = Jerez
Stockings = Calzatines
Carrots = Zanahoria
Toys = Juegettes
Shiny = Brillante
Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer Song Link
25th December Christmas Day
The origins of the now traditional Christmas Celebration date back to the sixth century. Nowadays, however, only 13 per cent of families attend church on Christmas Day. The focus is more on family, giving presents food and drink.
Today, the average family gets up just before 8am and is ready to start opening presents by 8.15am. Once the wrapping paper has been torn off all the presents, the family sits down to breakfast. One of the most important things about a traditional British Christmas is the rich food.
Check out the link below for some of the most popular Christmas breakfast ideas. : http://www.foodnetwork.co.uk/article/christmas-breakfast-gallery.html .
Unfortunately all the excitement and stress means that at pretty much bang on 10.00am on Christmas morning the first rows begin, and the average parent ends up losing it, and they start to tell off their children for the first time around 11.00am.
The strain of cooking the big Christmas dinner sees the average Brit start to sip away at their first alcoholic drink at 11.30am.
Below is a list of Christmas drinks and recipes: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/festive-drinks
To wrap = envolver
To tear = quitar
Bang on (adj) = exactamente
To row = discutir
To lose it = perder paciencia
To tell off = echar la bronca/reganar
Strain (n) = tension
To sip away = beber a sorbos
Lunch is finally served around 3.00 pm, with 85 per cent of people enjoying the traditional turkey with all the trimmings.
If you sit down for a Typical British family lunch on Christmas day, the starter is probably going to be prawns or smoked salmon. The main course is normally roast turkey, often free-range and the bigger the better, although goose has been making a bit of a comeback recently, and for the vegetarian in the family (there’s always one) just the roast vegetables, these are normally potatoes (roasted, boiled, mashed, or maybe all three), brussels sprouts, roasted parsnips, and stuffing with gravy and cranberry sauce. This is usually followed by Christmas pudding; a rich fruit pudding served with brandy sauce or brandy butter.
Christmas puddings are a very rich, dark pudding made with all sorts of dried fruits, nuts, spices, and lots of sherry or brandy.
You can find a Christmas pudding recipe here: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1159/classic-christmas-pudding.
Trimmings = guarnicion
Prawns = gambas
Goose = ganso
Brussels sprouts = coles de Bruselas
Parsnips = chirivia
Spices = especias
Dried fruits = frutos secos
That mountain of food and drink means the first person falls asleep at around 5.30 pm, with Dad normally being the leader in losing the “staying awake” battle. Those who do nod off end up annoying the others with their loud snoring. Those who manage to stay awake on the other hand end up dragging out family board games which almost always inevitably ends in yet another row.
Battle (n) = batalla
To annoy = molestar
To snore = roncar
To drag out = sacar
To nod off = quedarse dormido
26th December boxing Day
In England Boxing Day is celebrated on December 26th. It originated in medieval times when wealthy people indulged in huge Christmas feasts, and when they were finished, packed up the leftovers of feasts into boxes and gave them out to their servants and tradesmen. It didn’t become widely celebrated until Victorian England.
As there is normally so much food left over from the elaborate Christmas lunch, it is traditional to eat a dish known as “Bubble and Squeak” on Boxing Day. Bubble and Squeak is a mixture of brussels sprouts and potatoes along with other leftover veg fried with bacon and served with an assortment of cold meats and pickles.
For some the whole festive period has all been a bit too much, what with all the rich food and intense family atmosphere, so they flee the house and start spending yet more money in the boxing day sales which start on 26th December and last through the month of January.
Gifts = regalos
Wealthy = rico
Indulge = disfrutar
Leftovers = sobras
Feast = banquete
To flee = salir
Spend = gastar