What do these idioms have to do with Christmas?

Christmas Idioms?

Yes, there are idioms you can use at Christmas and there are idioms which use the word Christmas but are not really used at this time of year. Join us and find out what the following ten idioms mean and when to use them.

1. Christmas comes but once a year

As this event (Christmas) only happens once a year we should treat people who are less fortunate than ourselves better at this time of year, e.g. by donating to charity. However, it is also used as a kind of excuse for over indulgence on food or on gifts, because it doesn’t happen very often. This idiom is used at this time of year.

Example: Janet went to make a large donation  for the homeless people. After all Christmas only comes once a year.


2. Christmas has come early

This is used for situations when something positive happens to you which you were not expecting then it is like Christmas. As Christmas is associated with a positive surprise. This idiom is not used at this time of year.

Example: Tom got a letter from his company on 1st October telling him he had been promoted and was to receive a higher salary.  Christmas had come early for Tom.


3. All my Christmases have come together

Similar to the second idiom, where Christmas is linked to receiving pleasant surprises in form of gifts, you can use this idiom to describe a situation where all your dreams have come true. You got everything you could have wished for. This idiom can definitely be used throughout the whole year.

Example:  Two days ago I received this amazing job offer and to top it all off  my boyfriend proposed to me yesterday! It feels like all my Christmases have come together.


4. Good things come in small packages

This idiom is similar to ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, meaning the size of something is irrelevant. The size of a package doesn’t determine what’s inside it. You can use this idiom, whenever it fits the situation.


5. To light up like a Christmas tree

As Christmas trees tend to be full of lights and very bright, this idiom is used to describe someone’s sudden very happy mood, after a situation. You can use this idiom whenever such a situation occurs.

Example: Mia lit up like a Christmas tree when she saw a vase with roses on her desk.


6. Like turkeys voting for Christmas

Turkeys are a traditional choice of food for Christmas (and Thanksgiving) lunch or dinner. However, you don’t ask turkeys if they like those holidays, because they have no say in the matter. They have to accept it. When you accept something you don’t like without trying to change it you are like a turkey voting for Christmas. This idiom is used throughout the year, whenever appropriate.

Example: The staff agreed to work longer hours without extra pay. It was like turkeys voting for Christmas.

7. To ring in the New Year

Possibly you’re having or going to a party on New Year’s Eve (31st December) to welcome the New Year. So when the church bells ring at midnight everyone wishes each other a happy New Year. The only time to use this idiom is to describe this situation.

Example: Grace and Neil invited  friends and family  for a New Year’s Eve party to ring in the New Year.


8. The more the merrier 

Now this idiom you can use to say the more people there are, the better a situation or event will be. Of course, you can use it all year round.


9. Bah, Humbug

Have you heard of ‘Ebenezer Scrooge’? He’s the main character of Charles Dickens’ novel “Christmas Carol” and he used this term quite often. As there are some people who are not fans of this holiday season, they have adapted this expression to show their lack of the Christmas spirit.


10. Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle

This idiom originally comes from ‘don’t get your knickers in a twist’. It means don’t get upset or annoyed about something which is unimportant. It has been changed to get a Christmas theme, as a tinsel is decoration for your Christmas tree. So around Christmas, you can use it and for the rest of the year you can use ‘don’t get your knickers in a twist’.

There you have it, that wraps it up for today and this year

Our selection of ten Christmas (themed) idioms and when to use them. 

We wish you happy holidays and all the best for the New Year. The next blog post will be online in January 2019, till then have a wonderful time with your family and loved ones and take care

Nadia & Yvette

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