Santa Claus comes to our house.
It's not long now. Only a few more days, and then it's Christmas. But are you ready? Have you got all the gifts? What about the tree? Are you excited, or are you wondering how on earth you're going to manage to do everything before the 24th?I grew up in Scotland, with a Scottish father and a German mother. Christmas was a bit of a mishmash in our house. We put our Christmas tree up on Christmas Eve — not on the first of December like most families in Scotland. I think this was done more for practical reasons; there was no time before the 24th, and it saved the real tree from shedding its needles before Santa arrived.
Instead of the strings of colourful fairy lights my friends had wrapped round their trees, we had wax candles. But despite the German traditions my mother had brought with her, Santa Claus still came down our chimney and we were allowed to stay up. We felt very special, being the first children in Scotland to open their presents.
There were always plenty of home-made Christmas biscuits. We never
had a turkey. It was always a roast dinner, but it was always different:
sometimes duck, sometimes beef. It was certainly very festive — with a
linen tablecloth, the best china and the crystal glasses.
Now that I live in Germany, I'm continuing my family's mixed-up traditions — and they're getting more mixed up by the year. While the Christkind comes to all the houses round about us, Santa Claus comes to our house. Baby Jesus coming through the window is still a little strange to me, so I insist that a jolly fat man squeezes down our chimney — whether the fire is on or not!
And last year, my husband told me he would like cheeseburgers for our Christmas meal on Christmas Day. So we made delicious cheeseburgers and hand-cut chips in the shape of Christmas trees. The children were allowed to stay in their pyjamas all day, playing with their new toys. So the new name for Christmas Day in our house is PC day: Pyjama-Cheeseburger day. The children talk about it a lot, and can't wait for PC day this year. On Boxing Day we'll travel to my husband's family for a festive meal of roast venison. A proper meal.
What are your family's Christmas traditions?
In our exercise on the next page, you'll find out more about Christmas in the UK and learn some handy seasonal vocabulary. So take a little break from the pre-Christmas rush, make yourself some Glühwein and settle down to do our Cristmas quiz.
Good luck, and merry Christmas!
Sign up for our free e-mail newsletter and you'll get a useful idiom and an update about our site every week.