Learn English Vocabulary for Christmas!

It’s the holiday season here in the U.S. and in many other countries throughout the world. Thanksgiving has passed, Christmas is on the way and New Year’s Eve is around the corner. This time of year, English speakers use a whole new set of vocabulary just for the season. Learn some of the most common words you’ll be hearing during the holidays with this ESL Christmas vocabulary lesson.



Santa Claus (a.k.a. Santa)

An imaginary man with a white beard and a red suit, who lives at the North Pole and delivers toys to children at Christmas.



North Pole

The most northern point on the surface of the earth. In Christmas tradition, this is where Santa Claus lives.




A small vehicle that has a flat bottom or long, narrow strips of metal or wood on the bottom and that is used for moving over snow. Children often sled down hills in the winter, and this is what Santa uses to deliver presents to children.




A large type of deer that lives in northern parts of the world. At Christmas, it is believed that reindeers pull Santa’s sled full of presents to deliver to children.




A small, mythical creature in stories, usually with pointed ears and magical powers. Christmas elves work with Santa at the North Pole to help him make the presents he’ll deliver to children.




The part of the house through which smoke from the fireplace escapes. In Christmas tradition, Santa is believed to enter houses through the chimney to deliver the presents to children.




A big sock. At Christmas, red and white decorative stockings are hung in front of the fireplace and filled with small presents and candy (called “stocking stuffers”) by Santa.




A circular band of flowers, pine branches and decorations that is commonly put on the front door of the house around Christmas time.



A plant with little white berries that is traditionally hung over doorways as a Christmas decoration. If you happen to stand under a piece of mistletoe with another person, Christmas tradition says you are supposed to kiss that person!




Small, fancy balls or figures that are hung on a Christmas tree for decoration.



Gingerbread man

A traditional Christmas cookie, made with molasses and ginger, in the shape of a person (gingerbread houses are also made at Christmas).


Now that you’ve learned some Christmas vocabulary, you’ll be ready to grab a gingerbread cookie, sit in front of the fireplace and wait for Santa to come down the chimney and fill your stocking. For even more Christmas vocabulary, read about popular carols (songs). Happy holidays!


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