Home > Learning Material > Festive English video: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Festive English video: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

In this lesson I discuss British celebrations during Christmas and New Year. Please see my explanations visual vocabulary below, and join me in 2013 for more free lessons!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone watching this, from Chris in England.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

You can say, “Happy Christmas”.

Or, “Season’s greetings”.

“Festive greetings.”

But we normally say, “(A very) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year”.

The word, “Christmas”, is sometimes shortened in informal writing to “Xmas”.

“Festive” is an adjective to describe things to do with Christmas. An informal adjective is “Christmassy”.

Christmas is celebrated by most people in the UK, although we must remember that not everyone does.

It is celebrated in the UK traditionally as a Christian festival, but atheists celebrate too.


Christmas and New Year dates

24 December: Christmas Eve

25 December: Christmas Day

26 December: Boxing Day

31 December: New Year’s Eve

1 January: New Year’s Day


Christmas in the UK

Groups of people sing Christmas carols (songs)

People build snowmen if there is enough snow

We send Christmas cards to each other

Father Christmas (or Santa Claus)

Father Christmas delivers presents by flying with reindeer and climbing down chimneys

Christmas tree

Christmas lights / fairy lights

Presents / gifts on Christmas Day

Christmas dinner

Christmas pudding


Christmas visual tool

Candle – candles are often lit each day in the countdown to Christmas.

(We also have special calendars with chocolates in.)










Candy cane




  1. 07/12/2012 at 3:23 PM

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  2. Walter
    11/12/2012 at 12:40 PM

    could you tell me the difference between Merry Christmas and Happy New year Vs. Merry Christmas and “a” Happy New Year?

    Thanks in advance.

    • 11/12/2012 at 7:33 PM

      There’s no explanation or rule that I’m aware of. They’re simply different ways of saying the same thing. In English, we don’t always use the definite and indefinite articles how we’re supposed to.

  3. hychen70
    14/12/2012 at 9:34 PM

    Thanks happy Christmas and happy new year

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