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   Christmas Day is celebrated on December 25. Many people look on Christmas as the time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, but really the tradition goes back to the earliest of times. In those days the sun meant so much to primitive man that when it began to go lower each day till December 23, people thought the sun was going to die out and they were worried. They ate less keeping the food for the next year.
   On December 23 the sun stayed in the sky longer and after that the nights were becoming shorter and shorter. When this happened, the primitive man was very happy. He even felt he wanted to celebrate it. Later it became a tradition to celebrate it at the end of December with presents and plenty of eating. Now Christmas tree stands in everybody's living-room at Christmas. In the earliest of times green trees were symbols of life. Candles at Christmas also go back to those times. People believed then that their light helped them to forget the darkness of winter.
   The first weekday after Christmas is a public holiday. In England it is called Boxing Day. In past times it was the traditional day to give presents to servants. This day is called Boxing Day because at one time the presents were put in boxes (Christmas boxes). Usually Boxing Day is December 26, but if Christmas Day falls on a Saturday, Boxing Day is on December 27. Not all Christmas traditions are old. The first Christmas card was made only in 1842 by an English painter who sent that card to one hundred of his friends. NOT millions of Christmas cards are sent and received.
   Christmas is a time for eating. The traditional food is turkey, Christmas cake, Christmas pudding made of fruit. Some families make pudding a year before they eat it. Believe it or not, in a year they eat the pudding with great pleasure.
   1. When is Christmas celebrated?
   2. Why did people feel they wanted to celebrate this day?
   3. What stands in everybody's living-room at Christmas now?
   4. How is the traditional day to give presents called?
   5. When was the first Christmas card made?
   6. What is the traditional Christmas food?


   Christmas is Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. For millions of Christians throughout the world it is the happiest and the busiest time of the year. No one knows the exact date of Christ's birth but most Christians celebrate Christmas on December 25. The world Christmas comes from Christes masse, an early English phrase that means Mass of Christ.
   People of different countries celebrate Christmas in various ways. People in the United States and Canada decorate their homes with Christmas trees, wreaths and ornaments. City streets are filled with colored lights; the sound of bells and Christmas carols can be heard everywhere.
   Children write letters to Santa Claus and tell him what presents they would like to get. Many department stores hire people to wear a Santa Claus costume and listen to children's reguests. People send Christmas cards to relatives and friends. Many companies give presents to their employees.
   A Christmas tree is one of the main symbols of Christmas in most homes. Relatives and friends may join in trimming the tree with lights, tinsel, and colorful ornaments. Presents are placed under the tree. On Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, families open their presents. Many children believe that Santa Claus arrives on Christmas Eve in a sleigh pulled by reindeer and brings presents. Some children hang up stockings so Santa Claus can fill them with candy, fruit and other small gifts.
   In many parts of the United States and Canada groups of people walk from house to house and sing Christinas carols. Some people give singers money or small gifts or invite them for a warm drink.
   Many people attend church services on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. They listen to readings from Bible and singing Christmas carols. A traditional Christmas dinner consists of stuffed turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and a variety of other dishes. Some families have ham or roast goose instead of turkey. Pumpkin pie, plum pudding, and fruitcake are favourite desserts.
   1. What does Christmas celebrate?
   2. Where does the name "Christmas" come from?
   3. How do people in the US and Canada celebrate Christmas?
   4. What do the children do on Christmas?
   5. What is the main symbol of Christmas?
   6. What does a traditional Christmas dinner consist of?