In December, the days are short and the nights are long. Sunrise is at about 8 o’clock and sunset is before 4 o’clock in the afternoon. The shortest day is the 21st or 22nd. The weather is usually cold. When the sky is clear, we have frost in the morning and everything is white. We sometimes get the first snow of the winter in this month. There is more snow in the north than in the south, especially in the hills and mountains.
Of course, when we think about December, we also think about Christmas! A lot of people decorate their houses and put up a Christmas tree. This might be a real tree or artificial. We send Christmas cards and buy presents for friends and family. Christmas Day is the 25th and people usually spend the day with their family. We eat a traditional Christmas meal, usually at lunchtime but maybe in the evening, which is turkey with roast potatoes and vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, carrots and parsnips. For dessert, we have Christmas pudding, which is a bit like a cake made with spices and lots of dried fruit. We give our presents to each other on this day.
On Christmas Eve, the day before Christmas, children put a stocking, or maybe a pillow case, on the end of their bed for “Santa Claus” or “Father Christmas” to fill with presents. They usually realise after a few years that the gifts are really from their parents but may carry on with the fun until they grow up! In some families, all the presents are from Santa but in my family, we had small gifts from Father Christmas in the morning, and then bigger presents from family members after lunch, which were waiting for us under the Christmas tree.
December 31st is New Year’s Eve. Whereas Christmas is usually spent with family, people usually spend New Year’s Eve with friends. Some people go out to a pub or restaurant and others have a party at home and invite people round. At midnight, we listen to Big Ben, the famous clock in London, strike 12, on the TV or radio, and we drink champagne. We sometimes have fireworks or watch the firework display in London on television.
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