The Christmas Vocabulary: Unwrapping Christmas Idioms

When you think of Christmas, the things that likely come to mind are twinkling lights, joyous carols, festive meals, and heartfelt gifts. But Christmas is also rich in its own idiomatic expressions. These ‘Christmas idioms’ beautifully capture the spirit of the season and enrich our language. In this article, let's dive into the winter wonderland of Christmas idioms, exploring their meanings and uses.

List of Christmas Idioms:

Deck the halls

Meaning: To decorate for Christmas.

Example: "We spent the whole day decking the halls to get ready for our Christmas party."

White Christmas

Meaning: A Christmas day with snow on the ground.

Example: "As a child, I always dreamed of a white Christmas."

Christmas has come early

Meaning: When you get an unexpected surprise or good news.

Example: "When I received a promotion at work, it felt like Christmas had come early."

Like turkeys voting for Christmas

Meaning: When someone chooses or accepts a situation that will result in a negative or harmful outcome.

Example: "Politicians supporting the unpopular bill was like turkeys voting for Christmas."

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth

Meaning: Do not criticize or feel doubt towards something beneficial that has been given to you.

Example: "Even though it's not the laptop model I wanted, I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth."

As busy as elves

Meaning: Very busy, usually in preparation for something.

Example: "In the days leading up to the Christmas sale, the retail staff were as busy as elves."

To light up like a Christmas tree

Meaning: To become very excited or animated.

Example: "Her face lit up like a Christmas tree when she saw the puppy."

Trim the tree

Meaning: To decorate a Christmas tree.

Example: "It's a family tradition to gather and trim the tree on Christmas Eve."


Christmas idioms bring the holiday spirit into our everyday conversations. However, like all idioms, they should be used contextually. While they may add flavor to informal conversation or narrative writing, they might not be suitable for formal or academic writing where clarity and succinctness are essential.

Q&A - Common Questions:

Q: Are these Christmas idioms used worldwide?
A: While these idioms are commonly used in English-speaking countries, some may be less recognized in countries where Christmas is not traditionally celebrated.

Q: Can these idioms be used outside the Christmas season?
A: Certainly! Many of these idioms, like "Christmas has come early," can be used throughout the year.


Here are some delightful quotes from celebrities that resonate with the spirit of Christmas and its idioms:

"I don't think Christmas is necessarily about things. It's about being good to one another." - Carrie Fisher

"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other." - Burton Hillis


As we unwrap the gifts under the tree this holiday season, let's also unwrap the vibrant expressions and idioms that Christmas brings into our language. These Christmas idioms not only add a festive flair to our conversations but also deepen our cultural appreciation of the season.

Remember, language is an ongoing celebration - as bright and vibrant as Christmas lights. Keep exploring, keep learning, and keep the spirit of Christmas alive in your heart and words all year round. In the magical world of English, every day can feel like Christmas has come early!

related articles
Langly Inc. © 2024