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Festive Terms for the Holiday Season

4 min read
8 December 2017
two students laughing inside covent garden market

How do you describe the smell of gingerbread? And what words would you use to talk about the sorts of foods you enjoy on Christmas or New Years? When learning English, its fun to explore some of the words that are specific to a certain season or time of year. With the holiday season in full force, we thought it was a good time to take a closer look at some of the most important festive words you can use to describe the season.


Our favorite festive words

Candy cane

A peppermint stick with red and white stripes.


Christmas tree

A common Christmas decoration covered with ornaments, tinsel, and lights; presents are placed under the tree then opened on Christmas morning.


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A festive drink made with eggs, milk, sugar, and rum.



A type of cookie flavored with ginger and molasses; can also be made into the shape of a house and decorated with candy and frosting.



A plant with prickly green leaves and red berries, usually associated with Christmas decorations.



A plant with red or white berries that is hung around the house at Christmas time; it is traditional to kiss someone you love beneath the mistletoe.



A device in the shape of person whose mouth cracks open nuts; this is a festive symbol because of the toy nutcracker doll from the ballet, The Nutcracker.



A decoration that hangs from the branches of a Christmas tree.



Although it is a real type of deer, reindeer have become a symbol of the holiday season because of Santa’s reindeers, which have the power to fly and pull his sled around the world.



A feathery ice crystal that forms into snow.


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A man made out of three different sized balls of snow and often dressed with a hat, scarf, and corncob pipe.



A long sock hung by the fireplace that can be filled with presents.



Shiny thin decorative strips that can be hung on a tree or around the house.



A circular arrangement of flowers, foliage, and bows that can be hung on a door or above a fireplace.


So how well do you know these festive holiday terms? Practice and before you know it you'll be using them in your daily conversations. 


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