Christmas is one of the happiest and busiest times of the year for million of people all over the world. They observe the holiday with religious ceremonies and prayer.
Many people look forward to happy family parties and exchanging gifts. They decorate their houses. It is the most important holiday for British people
Every year the people of Norway give the city of London a present. Its a big Christmas tree and it stands in Trafalgar Square. Also in central London, Oxford street and Regent street always have beautiful decorations at Christmas.
On Christmas day at 3.00 a. m. the Queen makes a speech on radio and TV. Its 10 minutes long. In it she talks to the people of the UK and the Commonwealth about the past year. Traditionally in speeches, kings or queens say we not I. queen Elizabeth II doesnt do this. She says My husband and I or just I.
The Queen doesnt make her speech on Christmas Day. She films it a few weeks before. Then she spends Christmas with her family at Windsor.
In 1841 the first Christmas tree was decorated in Britain. Queens husband, Prince Albert, brought this tradition ( he was German) to Britain. He and the Queen decorated a Christmas tree at Windsor Castle with candles, candies, fruit and gingerbread. A few years after, nearly every house in Britain had one.
In Great Britain children hang their stockings by the fireplace or by their beds on Christmas Eve, hoping that Father Christmas will fill them with Christmas gifts which they will open on Christmas Day. Theres another name for Father Christmas in Britain – Santa Claus. That comes from the European name for him – Santa Nicholas.
Santa Claus has become the most beloved of Christmas symbols and traditions. The image of the jolly elf flying in a sleigh pulled by reindeers and leaving toys and gifts for every child is known worldwide.