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Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Christmas

CHRISTMAS IN GREAT BRITAIN


In Britain, Christmas Day is normally spent at home, with the family, and it is regarded as a celebration of the family.


Preparations start with the sending of Christmas cards and installation of a decorated Christmas tree in an important place in the home. The tradition of the Christmas tree was introduced in 1840 by Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, who was born in Germany.



Some houses are decorated with evergreens (plants which don't lose their leaves in winter); a wreath of holly on the front door and garlands of holly, ivy and fir indoors. 





The excitement begins for children on Christmas Eve, when they hang up their stockings around the fireplace or at the foot of the bed, so that Father Christmas can fill them with presents.



Bunches of mistletoe are often hung above doorways - any couple passing underneath must exchange kisses!

 

Traditional food is prepared: sweet mince pies,


a rich Christmas cake and the Christmas pudding. Everyone has their own favourite recipe, but they’re all full of spices, nuts, dried fruit and brandy.

People buy and wrap presents and place them under the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve.




Christmas is a secular and a religious holiday, and many families like to go to the midnight mass at church on Christmas Eve, or celebrate Christmas in church on Christmas morning.



 
Practically everyone sits down to a Christmas dinner in the early afternoon of Christmas Day, traditionally roast turkey,


but some families prefer goose or roast beef. The turkey is followed by the Christmas pudding, brought to the table flaming hot. Brandy is poured over the pudding, then lit.


The day ends with everyone relaxing, watching television or playing guessing-games like charades.


The English Father Christmas or Santa Claus is first recorded in his traditional red and white clothes in an image of 1653, but the story of Santa arriving in his reindeer-drawn sleigh and descending down the chimney to fill children’s stockings with presents derives from the USA.

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Jingle Bells

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Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
O'er the fields we go
Laughing all the way
Bells on bob tails ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to laugh and sing
A sleighing song tonight

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh

A day or two ago
I thought I'd take a ride
And soon Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot
We got into a drifted bank
And then we got upsot

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh yeah

Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh



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Believe it or not, Jingle Bells, one of the most famous American Christmas songs, was originally written for Thanksgiving! The author and composer of Jingle Bells was a minister called James Pierpoint who composed the song in 1857 for children celebrating his Boston Sunday School Thanksgiving. The song was so popular that it was repeated at Christmas, and indeed Jingle Bells has been reprised ever since. The essence of a traditional Christmas is captured in the lyrics of Jingle Bells and the sound effects using the bells have become synonymous with the arrival of Father Christmas or Santa Claus to the delight of children of all ages!

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree

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Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree
At the Christmas Party Hop
Mistletoe hung where you can see
Every couple tries to stop

Rockin' around the Christmas tree
Let the Christmas spirit ring
Later we'll have some pumpkin pie
And we'll do some caroling

You will get a sentimental feeling when you hear
Voices singing, "Let's be jolly,
Deck the halls with boughs of holly"

Rockin' around the Christmas tree
Have a happy holiday
Everyone dancin' merrily
In the new old-fashioned way

Rockin' around the Christmas tree
Let the Christmas spirit ring
Later we'll have some pumpkin pie
And we'll do some caroling

You will get a sentimental feeling when you hear
Voices singing, "Let's be jolly,
Deck the halls with boughs of holly"

Rockin' around the Christmas tree
Have a happy holiday
Everyone dancin' merrily
In the new old-fashioned way !!!