Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Christmas Around the World! ~ International English #3

We've been looking at International English.
  • In October, we looked at Making Friends Across the Globe.
  • In November we saw some of the the varieties of English interpretations, especially between British and American English.
  • This month we're going to look at International English at Christmas time.

It's Almost Christmas! 
How will you celebrate? What words will you use?

The word "Christmas" comes from the old English Cristes Maesse, or the mass of Christ. Across the globe, Christmas Day is one of the most festive celebrations. Although greatly commercialized in many countries, it is a Christian holiday held in memory of the birth of Jesus Christ.

No one knows the actual date of Christ's birth but most countries celebrate it on December 25th, although in some countries such as those that follow the Russian Orthodox calender, it is celebrated on January 7th.

Many homes have decorated Christmas trees, real or fake and many families decorate their homes inside and, especially in America, outside their homes as well. In many cultures Christmas is a family affair with family members traveling many miles to celebrate together. Other homes hold bring-and-share meals for many friends. In many countries, Christmas Day is a public holiday and all businesses are closed for the day. Across the world, cities go to great lengths to decorate their streets and main shopping centers.

Most churches have special Christmas Day services with carol singing and often they hold mince-pie celebrations. Within the family, gifts are exchanged and many children believe in Father Christmas, or Santa Claus. In the past, Christmas cards were sent and received but in many lands that custom is rapidly dying out due to the expense of the postal system and of the cards themselves.

Christmas traditions vary from country to country, including such elements as lighting of Christmas trees, hanging of Christmas stockings, Advent wreaths on doors, mistletoe overhead, candy canes, Nativity scenes, carol singing, fasting, midnight mass, burning a Yuletide log, pulling crackers and many others.

"Christmas cake, Boxing Day 2008" by SMC.
Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution
The countries following British customs often enjoy Christmas Mince Pies (where the mince is made from dried fruit), Christmas Pudding and Iced Christmas Cake—again full of dried fruit mince, yummy! Because of the heat, South Africa is increasingly turning to trifle, ice-cream and fruit salad, and I suspect other hotter countries are doing likewise. (A tragedy to some gastronomical desires including my own!)

Christmas meals also vary wildly. In Nigeria, rice dishes or stews are often served, as is pepper soup with fish, goat or beef. Japanese Christmas cake is a white sponge cake covered with cream and strawberries, and believe it or not, thanks to a successful advertising campaign in the 1970's, eating at KFC around Christmas is regarded as a national custom!

In the USA and many of the British countries, the traditional Christmas dinner features roast turkey and stuffing (sometimes called dressing), ham or gammon, and other meats, with a wide variety of cooked vegetables and roast potatoes. In some countries such as the UK and South Africa, the traditional meal is accompanied by the pulling of Christmas crackers which contain jokes, toys and paper hats.

In the Southern Hemisphere any dreams of a White Christmas are exactly that—dreams, as Christmas falls mid-summer. Although South Africans and Australians often follow a similar traditional meal to England and America, it is becoming increasingly common to serve barbecue meals (braai in South Africa) with salads.

No matter where you go in the world it is likely that you will find some form of Christmas celebration, and people will greet you in words only used once a year. In America you are likely to be wished a Merry Christmas! While in the UK, it's more likely to be Happy Christmas!

It's not possible to cover all the greetings in this post, but here are 24 international ways to wish you a Very Happy Christmas;

What in the World Do You Mean?

SHIRLEY CORDER lives on the coast in South Africa with her husband, Rob. Her book, Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer has created a multitude of friends and contacts across the world.

Please visit Shirley through, where she encourages writers, or at, where she encourages those in the cancer valley. You can also meet with her onTwitter or FaceBook.

Happy Christmas

Christmas Eve and those of us who have everything under control can relax and look forward to a more--or less--peaceful day. Me? I'm still winding tinsel round the bannisters and hanging cards, wrapping parcels and eyeing in despair the muddy mess that was my kitchen floor. Yep--feeling just like the cross-eyed penguin in the front row right.

And it struck me that maybe how we cope with Christmas is how we cope with our writing life. I'm a deadline junkie, always flying in at the last possible moment when I know in my heart how much easier everything would be with better planning and, more importantly, sticking to a plan.

Happy. Happy Christmas if you're ready and set to go and scanning this post at leisure.

Happy, Happy Christmas if you're like me in the manic throes of preparation.

And Happy, Happy Holiday if you're managing to take the time out to catch up with your writing life.

My dear husband keeps asking what I want for Christmas. Dare I ask for the day off to plan a new novella?

What's your life lesson from the run up to Christmas? Whatever you're doing, have a wonderful day. And remember, even the disasters will be marvelous fodder for your writing.

 Anne Duguid is a freelance content editor with MuseItUp Publishing and she tries to pass on helpful writing,editing and publishing tips at Slow and Steady Writers 

All Best Wishes to Writers Everywhere

I have borrowed today's poster  from one of my favorite writing and marketing sites.  Copyblogger is always innovative, always has helpful content and is never afraid of really teaching its readers how to improve  writing and marketing skills to achieve success.

Nothing is more irritating than the teasing promises made by marketers who then go on to upsell a second /third/fourth piece of magic information that you must have to achieve that five/six/ten figure income.

Yeah. Right. But sadly that's not how it works. 

It works like Christmas. The secret lies in the loving--loving what you do--and the believing--believing you can do it.

10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

The most appealing writing conveys a message, comes from the heart. It speaks to the reader and fills a need.

Think about the writers you love. Ask yourself why they appeal.

Then forget the pie in the sky dream of a six figure income. Just write for the love of it.

Belated Thanks 

I have had a wonderful year thanks to the kindness and support of everyone here and in my other writing communities. I have read so many wonderful books and short stories, won awards and even wonderful gifts in blog give aways.

Here at last is the long promised summer  photo of my dearest Woody bookworm with two of his favorite mystery reads. .

Woody the bookworm with two Jill Paterson mystery novels
 Woody is a lovely eco-friendly bookmark creation of the talented Elysabeth Elderling.
He loves reading real books but, as you can see from the rolling eyes, is not so good at having his photo taken.

The Celtic Dagger and Murder on the Rocks introduced me to a new Australian detective series. So many thanks to Jill for providing me with the new stories--another blog win--wow!--, new settings, and a new sleuth to keep looking out for..

  Season's Greetings

Wishing us all the happiest and healthiest of New Years and may our writing dreams come true.

Christmas snow

And more snow

   Anne Duguid is a senior content editor with MuseItUp Publishing and   her New Year's Resolution is to blog with helpful writing,editing and publishing tips at Slow and Steady Writers far more regularly than she managed in 2011.

Missing in action with a broken arm and worse, broken internet when trees felled the line in the November storms, she's hoping to do better in 2013.

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