adventthe arrival of someone or something important Adventthe coming (or second coming) of Jesus Christ; the month leading up to Christmasangela

spiritual being acting as a messenger of God (usually shown as a human being with wings)berrya small round fruitBethlehemthe small town in the Middle East believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christcandlea cylinder of wax with a central wick (like string) which burns to produce lightchimneya vertical pipe in a house that allows smoke and gases to escape from a fireplace (Father Christmas traditionally enters a house through its chimney)Christthe title of Jesus (also used as His name)Christiana person who believes in Christianity; also an adjectiveChristianitythe religion based on the teachings and person of Jesus ChristChristmasthe annual Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ (Christmas Day is on 25 December)Christmas cakea rich fruit cake covered with white icing, eaten at ChristmasChristmas carda greetings card that people send to friends and family at ChristmasChristmas carola religious song or popular hymn that people sing at ChristmasChristmas Day25 December, the birthday of Jesus ChristChristmas Evethe evening or day before Christmas Day (24 December)Christmas holidaysthe holiday period for about a week before and after Christmas DayChristmas presenta gift or present given at ChristmasChristmas tree an evergreen tree (often a spruce) that people decorate with lights and ornaments at Christmascrackera decorated paper tube that makes a sharp noise ("crack!") and releases a small toy when two people pull it apartdecorationsomething that adds beauty; ornamentegg-noga traditional Christmas drink made of alcohol with beaten eggs and milkFather Christmasan imaginary being who brings presents for children on the night before Christmas Day (also known as Santa Claus) - traditionally an old man with a red suit and white beardfireplacea partly enclosed space in a house where people light a fire for warmthfrankincensea gum used for incense, one of the gifts that the three wise men gave to Jesusgolda yellow precious metal, one of the gifts that the three wise men gave to Jesushollyan evergreen plant with prickly dark green leaves and red berriesJesusthe name of Christ, the central figure of Christianity (believed by Christians to be the Son of God)Josephthe husband of Mary (the mother of Jesus)magithe wise men from the East who brought gifts for the baby Jesusmangera trough for food for horses or cattle (used by Mary as a cradle or bed for Jesus)Marythe mother of Jesusmistletoea parasitic plant with white berries, traditionally used as a Christmas decorationmyrrha gum used for perfume or incense, one of the gifts that the three wise men gave to Jesusnativitythe birth of a personthe Nativitythe birth of Jesus Christnativity playa play that people perform at Christmas based on the birth of Jesusnew yearthe start of a year; the period just before and after 1 JanuaryNew Year's Day1 JanuaryNew Year's Eve31 Decemberornamentan object that adds beauty to something; a decorationpresenta thing given to somebody as a gift.reindeera deer with large antlers found in some cold climates (believed to pull the sleigh for Santa Claus or Father Christmas)Santa Clausan imaginary being who brings presents for children on the night before Christmas Day (also known as Father Christmas) - traditionally an old man with a red suit and white beard (Santa Claus may be based in part on the historical figure of Saint Nicholas.) shepherda person who looks after sheepsleigha sledge or light cart on runners pulled by horses or reindeer over snow and icesnowwater vapour from the sky that falls as white flakes and covers the groundstara bright point in the night sky which is a large, distant incandescent body like the sunthe star of Bethlehemthe star that announced the birth of Jesus and guided the wise men to find Himtinsela decoration consisting of thin strips of shiny metal foil, traditionally used at Christmasturkeya bird like a large chicken, traditionally eaten at Christmaswhite Christmasa Christmas with snow on the groundXmasabbreviation or informal term for Christmas

Christmas Day is celebrated on December 25th of each year. It is the day Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The word "Christmas" means "Christ's Mass" - derived from the English term "Christes masse". There are many different customs and traditions around the world. American customs come from many places. Santa Claus has a Dutch origin. He was developed from St. Nicholas who was a real person. St. Nicholas, was the patron saint of school boys. He brought gifts to the children. The idea that Santa Claus comes down the chimney originated in Norway, where children hang Christmas stockings on the fireplace mantel. Christmas trees have pagan origins. When pagans became Christian, they used evergreens (a sacred tree) for the holiday by decorating them with nuts and candles. They sang Christmas carols as they danced around the Christmas tree. Christmas colors are red and green. Today, traditional Christmas activities include caroling, making and giving gifts, sending cards to family and friends, and enjoying festive dinners and parties. Below are symbols of Christmas and their significance. Advent Wreath Four candles placed on a wreath. One candle is lit each Sunday before Christmas in anticipation of Christ's birthday. Angel An angel told the shepherds of the birth of Jesus. Angels come in many forms for Christmas decorations including the tree topper. Bells Church bells rang to announce the birth of Jesus. They still ring today. Camels Camels are the animals the wisemen rode following the star to where Jesus was born. Candles Candles represent the light that Jesus brought to earth. Pagans who converted to Christianity used candles on the sacred evergreen tree. Christmas Cards For many years, private notes of good tidings were sent at Christmas time. In 1843, Sir Henry Cole had 1000 special designed cards printed. The custom of sending Christmas cards began. Christmas Caroling Caroling is a medieval custom of singing and dancing around a Christmas tree. Early carols weren't holy enough for singing inside a church, so caroling was done outside. Christmas Cookies Originated with pre-Christian Romans who gave sweet cakes to their senators. Christmas Seals A Danish postal clerk sold Christmas stamps (Christmas seals) to show that users had given to a worthy cause. Christmas Stocking There is a legend associated with the origin of Christmas stockings. St. Nick, who wanted to remain anonymous and help a poor family, threw gold coins down their chimney. They fell into a stocking that was hanging there to dry. Christmas Tree Lights The lights represent Christ as being the "Light of the World." Lights also represent stars. Candles were first used as lights on the Christmas tree. Creche A manger scene representing the Jesus' place of birth.

Donkeys, Lambs, and Cows Donkeys, lambs, and cows were animals close to Jesus at the time of his birth. They are usually part of the Creche. Evergreen Tree The evergreen tree was decorated by the pagans at the feast of the winter solstice. The evergreen tree was a sign that winter would end. Gifts The first Christmas gifts were given by the Wisemen to Baby Jesus. Holly Holly is a shrub with spiny leaves and red berries. The leaves remain green throughout the year. Pagans thought its greenness was a promise that the sun would return. Early French and English families hung holly over their doors to symbolize a home in which Christ's birth is celebrated. Icicles Icicles are sometimes used as a tree decoration. As per an old story, the Christ child took shelter for a night under a pine tree. When the tree realized that it was caring for Jesus, tears of happiness fell from its branches. The tears froze into icicles. Jesus Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Christians believe Jesus is the son of God. Joseph Joseph is the husband of Mary. Manger A cow's manger is the place where Baby Jesus slept. It is part of the Creche. Mary Mary is the mother of Jesus. Mince Meat Pie Mince meat pie is full of spices and fruits. It represents the exotic treasures of the East that the Wisemen brought to Jesus. Mistletoe A sprig of evergreen plant hung at Christmas time. Custom is that people can kiss each other standing under it. Plum Pudding Plum pudding originated by an English king that was stranded in a blizzard one Christmas Eve. He used what he could find to make a special holiday dish. Poinsettia This flower was brought to the U.S. by Dr, J.R. Poinsett in 1825. He was the first first United States ambassador to Mexico. Because of its flame leaf, the poinsettia is sometimes called the Christmas Star. A Mexican legend explains how this flower got associated with Christmas. Reindeer Reindeer were the animals chosen by St. Nicholas to pull his sleigh. His reindeers' names are Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer is the most famous. Saint Nicholas Saint Nicholas was a real person. He was a kind bishop who brought presents to children and needy people. Shepherds

Shepherds tend sheep. They came to the manger to honor Baby Jesus. Star The Star of Bethlehem guided the Three Wisemen to Baby Jesus. Tinsel There is a legend associated with this thin metalic foil strip decoration. It tells about parents who trimmed a tree while their children were sleeping. Spiders came to see the tree, leaving cobwebs all over it. The Christ Child came to bless the tree and turned the cobwebs to silver. Three Wisemen Three Kings travelled far to see Jesus. They brought their best treasures for gifts. Gold - a precious metal associated with the power of kings Frankincense - A resin from a rare and sacred tree used as incense Myrrh - A resin from a shrub used in making perfume. Wassail A wassail is a salutation of good health or well wishes by means of a toast. The drink is a mixture of mulled eggs, curdled cream, apples, nuts, and spices. Usually poured from a punch bowl while exchanging Christmas greeings. Yule Log The word "yule" means "wheel," a symbol representing the sun. Before Jesus was born, pagans thought the sun stood still for 12 days at the end of the year. A log was cut large enough to burn for this time period to burn away last year's evil.