December is here, and it has brought with it joy and good intentions.
Some people think this is the best period of the year, and it’s impossible not to notice how crowded streets become during these days. Not cold, not stress, not even the desire to make savings: nothing can stop us when it is Christmas time!
But finally, Christmas is not made of material things. Not at all!
It’s Christmas when you spend time with your loved ones. It’s Christmas when you visit someone you have not been visiting for months. It’s Christmas when you are cooking for all of your family. It’s Christmas when you receive a special call. It’s Christmas when you find a present under your Christmas tree, even the simplest or the cheapest one. It’s Christmas when children believe in Santa, and when their parents tell them amazing stories about him. It’s Christmas when you smile. And Christmas… Is now.
So, we have just had a look at the “things” that let Christmas exist. But… what about the “words”? Which sentences we usually say each other during this time? Let’s try to find out some of them together.
1. “Merry Christmas!”
This is absolutely the most famous. Although very common, this wish is the one that fully expresses everyone’s desire: to be happy and to share happiness. To wish someone a “Merry Christmas” means to wish all the best with sincerity. It is like to say: “I hope you will be well and enjoy this day”.
Anyway, the word “merry” started to be used with this meaning only after the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, who probably viewed it with disfavour, since its original meaning was close to “mildly intoxicated”. Afterward, this word started to be used especially by Americans, while Britons seem to prefer the soberer sounding “happy” Christmas.
2. “Dear Santa…”
This is how children start their letter to Santa. Some of them have been waiting for Christmas for the whole year, and now hope to get the present they really desire. Let’s jump to origins: Santa Claus – also known as Saint Nicholas (a Greek bishop and gift-giver of Myra), Father Christmas (from British tradition), Sinterklaas (from Dutch tradition) or simply Santa – is a legendary figure who comes from Western Christian culture and who became popular in the United States and Canada in the 19th century. Santa Claus is generally depicted as a portly, joyous, white-bearded man, wearing a red coat with white fur collar and cuffs, white-fur-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots and who carries a bag full of gifts for children.
This is the only lie we will never hold against our parents: to make us believe that someone special continuously worked for children’s happiness.
3. “I got you something, I hope you like it”
This is not the only possible sentence, but one of those we say when giving someone a present. It is not just a way to deliver things: in that moment, several meanings are implied. Giving someone a gift means that you spent time looking for it, wondering if he/she would like it, that you actually thought about him/her and that you care. However, in most of the cases, you are not sure you bought the right thing! That’s why this kind of sentence also implies your worry: the addressee’s reaction will determine if you succeeded or not.
4. “Thank you”
This is the shortest one. Just two words, full of meaning and suitable for every situation. You are never wrong in saying “thank you” and, at the same time, you never say it enough. Being thankful for someone means to feel important for receiving something. And the only way we have to express our gratitude is by saying these two words. Anyway, it would be wrong to say “thank you” only at Christmas time. Let’s start saying it from Christmas time on.
The aforementioned sentences are just some of the ones we are used to saying and hearing during this period of the year. Of course, several alternatives are allowed. Anyway, what never changes in all these cases is the aim people have and try to share with each other: the willingness to forget about problems and worries and just enjoy time with their loved ones. As soon as Love “recharges” us, we can go ahead.
So, what are you waiting for? Enjoy this time and be sure to contribute to making Christmas atmosphere unique and special!
By Giovanna Tranchese