Festive Terms for the Holiday Season

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.

Take a look at our favorite festive words below.

 

Candy cane

A peppermint stick with red and white stripes.

festive candy canes
Candy canes go great with a glass of hot cocoa

 

Christmas tree

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

 

Eggnog

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

 

Gingerbread

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.

festive gingerbread
You can make gingerbread into all sorts of fun shapes!

 

Holly

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

 

Mistletoe

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.

 

Nutcracker

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.


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Ornament

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

festive ornaments
Ornaments can be colorful and shiny, or made of glass and lights

 

Reindeer

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.

 

Snowflake

A feathery ice crystal that forms into snow.

 

Snowman

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

festive snowman
Building snowmen is a holiday tradition

 

Stocking

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

 

Tinsel

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

 

Wreath

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

festive wreath
Wreaths can be used to decorate all-year-round, but they are more typical during the holidays

 

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. Have any other favorite festive terms that we missed? Let us know in the comments!

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