Secret Santa, also known as Kris Kringle in England, is a Christmas tradition that involves the exchange of anonymous gifts. Secret Santa is common in the workplace and among members of extended families as a way of restricting gift-giving and saving money.
White elephant is something which is costly to maintain and difficult to get rid of. Typically, white elephants are also rare and very valuable, complicating the situation for their owners. Any number of things can be a white elephant, from a palatial home to an extravagant necklace. According to legend, the concept of the white elephant has its roots in Southeast Asia. Historically, Southeast Asians regarded the white elephant as lucky, because a white elephant supposedly appeared to the mother of the Buddha right before his birth.
Yankee Swap is another variation on the Secret Santa game. It’s usually played as part of a family or friend gathering or office party during the winter holidays, and it is most popular in places like North America, especially in the US and Canada. It’s essentially a game in which gifts are given, but they’re usually either used items or gag gifts.
Gag gifts are usually inexpensive novelty items intended to get a laugh. It could be anything from Betty Boop boxers to a coffee mug with a hilarious one-liner, cartoon characters or the faces of past presidents.
Tinsel - a decoration consisting of thin strips of shiny metal foil, traditionally used at Christmas
Holly - an evergreen plant with prickly dark green leaves and red berries. In Celtic mythology, winter and summer were represented by twin kings, the "Holly King" (winter) and the "Oak King" (summer). Therefore holly was symbolic of life and spring to come.
Trimming the tree – decorating the tree is called ‘trimming the tree’.
Manger – historically, a small wooden trough that animals ate hay from. Jesus was put in a manger after he was born, so some people set up a manger with a plastic baby in it and animals around.
Feast Day – a special day to honor a saint; commemorates birth into life eternal, the earthly death date
Carving the bird – cutting the meat and handing it out to people is called ‘carving’ the bird
Wreath - a circular band of flowers or leaves used to decorate the front door of homes at Christmas.
Poinsettia – this plant is also commonly used to decorate at Christmas
Heirloom ornaments are traditionally passed down through generations of a family. They can be anything that is special to someone in that family and deemed worthy of preserving for future descendants.Garland - woven leaves, colorful plastic material, popcorn, wooden beads etc is usually placed on the tree after the lights and before any other decorations.
A Christmas tree skirt is a rounded skirt with an open side that is used to cover the Christmas tree stand.
Christmas tree flocking is artificial snow that is applied to a Christmas tree.
like turkeys voting for Christmas
If people are like turkeys voting for Christmas, they choose to accept a situation which will have a very unpleasant result for them.
like Christmas came earlyWhen you receive some unexpected good news or good fortune, you can describe it as Christmas coming early. The good news/fortune is a ‘present’.
cancel someone’s ChristmasThis is a humorous expression that can be heard in gangster movies. The idea is that you are so angry with someone that you are going to kill them; that person will not live until Christmas!
Christmas comes but once a yearBecause Christmas only happens once a year, we should be kind and generous as it is a special time.
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!