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10 Christmas Idioms to Teach Your English Students

Christmas is one of the most rejoiced holidays around the world. Its origins are rooted in the commemoration of Jesus Christ’s birth, but now it’s celebrated by both religious and secular people alike. Christmas season is a great time of the year to bring family and friends together to celebrate life.

In a week, Christmas will be here so get into the holiday spirit with these 10 Christmas idioms! This holiday is often associated with snow and winter, so some of these idioms are based on the winter season. 

1. Christmas came early this year. 

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Meaning: Experiencing some good fortune or happy surprise before the holiday seasons. 

Example: My boss just agreed to give me a raise. Looks like Christmas came early this year! 

2. Good things come in small packages.

Meaning: The size of something doesn’t determine the value of it. 

Example: A baby’s love is the best feeling. Good things come in small packages.

3. Light up like a Christmas tree.

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Meaning: To look bright, excited or happy. 

Example: His marriage proposal made me light up like a Christmas tree. 

4. To be left out in the cold. 

Meaning: To leave someone in a bad position or to forget someone. 

Example: They planned that party without me. I was left out in the cold.

5. Christmas comes but once a year. 

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Meaning: Christmas should be a time of enthusiastic celebration, whether through a spirit of generosity or indulgence. 

Example: I’m buying a lot of toys to donate this Christmas season for the less fortunate. Christmas comes but once a year.

6. Holiday spirit. 

Meaning: The positive feeling people experience around holiday seasons.

Example: Why the frown? Where’s your holiday spirit? 

7. Skating on thin ice. 

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Meaning: Doing something that is dangerous and involves a lot of risk. 

Example: She was skating on thin ice when she called out her boss in front of everyone.

8. Giving [someone] the cold shoulder.

Meaning: Purposely ignoring someone or treating them in an unfriendly way. 

Example: He gave me the cold shoulder after I forgot to include him on the list. 

9. Snowball effect. 

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Meaning: A situation in which something increases in size or importance at a faster and faster rate.

Example: The more successful you are, the more publicity you get, which leads to more success. It’s a snowball effect. 

10. White Christmas.

Meaning: A Christmas day that is covered with snow. 

Example: There was a huge snowstorm last night, looks like it’ll be a white Christmas this year!

How will you be celebrating the Christmas holidays this year? Let us know in the comments below! 

Ellier Leng
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