Christmas Phrasal Verbs

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It’s Christmas time again (how did that happen?!) so we thought as an early present we would teach you all about Christmas phrasal verbs in our interactive blog.

Close up picture of a Christmas tree with red baubles in the forefront

Phrasal verbs are a very important part of the English language. They are informal, so people use them all the time. It’s important that you can incorporate them into your vocabulary in order to improve your level of speaking AND listening

However, don’t panic about learning lists of 100s of phrasal verbs! Just learn them as they appear. The most important thing is to learn them in context as they very often change meaning. Today we’re looking at them in the context of Christmas! Look at the verbs in the text and see if you can understand what they mean. You can find the answers at the end of the blog post. Don’t forget to click on the links to get your little Christmas presents from us!

Do you like Christmas?

Christmas is one of my favourite times of year. It’s the perfect opportunity to meet up with friends and family. Everywhere looks lovely because all the Christmas lights have been put up and it feels like there’s magic in the air! I love wrapping up presents, lighting up the fire and getting into the Christmas spirit.

In the UK, the main holidays are 24th, 25th, 26th and 31st of December. The 24th is called Christmas Eve. It’s more common to spend this day with friends rather than family, usually having a few drinks in the pub. Children make sure they hang up their stockings on the fireplace and then they leave milk and biscuits for Santa Claus! When everyone is asleep, Santa comes down the chimney and leaves the presents.

What do we do on Christmas Day in the UK?

The 25th is the day we spend with family. In the morning we open the presents and then start getting ready for Christmas Dinner. The traditional meal these days is turkey with roast potatoes, brussel sprouts and stuffing and for dessert Christmas Pudding, which is a calorie bomb! Everyone sits down and before we start to eat we have to pull a cracker. Crackers are a big Christmas tradition in the UK. Inside there is a joke, a paper hat and a present. Each person pulls one end and when it opens it makes a bang. After dinner most people watch the Queen’s speech on TV. In my family we usually play games and sing along to Christmas Carols.

What do you call the 26th December?

The 26th is called Boxing Day. Originally it was the day that the rich gave their servants a box with presents. Now it’s famous because it’s the first day of the sales. People run to the shops to try and snap up a bargain.

What do you do on the 31st December?

The last big celebration is 31st of December, New Year’s Eve. In Scotland it has a different name, Hogmanay. For some people in Scotland this is a bigger celebration that Christmas! Hogmanay has its roots in Norse and pagan festivals. In fact, in Edinburgh on the 29th there is a beautiful torch light procession which ends with burning a Viking boat! Normally on the 31st you “see the bells in”, or celebrate midnight, and then go “first footing”. This is when you go to visit other people’s houses. To bring good luck for the new year you need to have a tall dark and handsome first footer who brings you coal!

The only thing I hate about Christmas is taking down the tree! It makes me feel very sad that the holidays are over!

Now have a look at the definitions for all of the Christmas phrasal verbs in the text

  • I like to meet up with friends over the holidays – To see friends
  • Putting up the tree and decorations is so exciting – Decorate your house and Christmas tree
  • I like to wrap up presents using nice paper – to fold a present in paper so you don’t know what it is
  • I love lighting up the fire and drinking a hot chocolate! – making a fire in a fireplace
  • I love getting into the Christmas spirit by watching festive films – Becoming involved in, becoming interested in
  • You hang up your stockings on the mantelpiece – Put the stockings on the mantelpiece
  • Santa comes down the chimney to deliver the presents – Santa enters through the chimney
  • When we sit down to eat Christmas dinner, the first thing we do is pull a cracker – to be in a sitting position or get into a sitting position 
  • My family all sing along to Christmas carols  – Sing with a recorded song or other singers
  • The Boxing Day sales are a great place to snap up a bargain – get something quickly for a very good price
  • The only thing I hate about Christmas is taking down the tree! – Removing the tree 

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