Pratique seu inglês com estas 10 tradições de Natal

O Natal já está chegando e é neste momento que muitas tradições acontecem (e não estamos falando apenas de montar a árvore de Natal!). Assim como o Brasil, os EUA também têm muitas maneiras diferentes para celebrar esta data, e as celebrações começam até antes de dezembro.

Algumas são bem familiares para nós, já outras são bem diferentes. Mas para você conhecê-las um pouco mais, leia o texto abaixo, faça os exercícios para praticar o seu inglês, e descubra a origem de 10 tradições comuns nos EUA.

Exercise 1:

Match the words to their corresponding definitions.

a) Settler(     ) feel or declare that (someone or something) is responsible for a fault or wrong
b) Secular(     ) a trick or device intended to attract attention, publicity, or trade
c) Blame(     ) used in reference to an activity, cause, etc. that is currently fashionable or popular and attracting increasing support
d)Bandwagon(     ) a determined effort under difficulties
e) Treat(     ) a person who moves with a group of others to live in a new country or area
f) Struggle(     ) feel intense dislike or disgust for
g) Holly(     ) not connected with religious or spiritual matters
h) Gimmick(     ) a widely distributed evergreen shrub, typically having prickly dark green leaves, small white flowers, and red berries
i) Claim(     ) a sweet, biscuit, or other item of sweet food
j) Loathe(     ) reluctantly or resentfully
k)Begrudgingly(     ) state or assert that something is the case, typically without providing evidence or proof

Exercise 2:

Match the traditions below to their corresponding paragraphs in the text.

  • Cookies and Milk for Santa
  • Christmas Trees
  • Christmas Lights
  • Christmas Cards
  • Door Wreaths
  • Ugly Christmas Sweaters
  • Candy Canes
  • Advent Calendars
  • Elf on the Shelf
  • Department Store Santa

How 25 Christmas Traditions Got Their Start

1. _____

Decorated trees date back to Germany in the Middle Ages, with German and other European settlers popularizing Christmas trees in America by the early 19th century. A New York woodsman named Mark Carr is credited with opening the first U.S. Christmas tree lot in 1851. A 2019 survey by the American Christmas Tree Association, predicted that 77 percent of U.S. households displayed a Christmas tree in their home. Among those trees on display, an estimated 81 percent were artificial and 19 percent were real.

2. _____

Early versions of this tradition, started in Germany in 1903 by publisher Gerhard Land, offered a way for children to count down to Christmas by opening one “door” or “window” a day to reveal a Bible passage, poem or small gift. Since gaining mass popularity by 1920, the calendars have evolved to secular calendars that include daily gifts from mini bottles of wine to nail polish to chocolates to action figures.

3. _____

You can blame our neighbors to the north for this silly, ironic tradition that really gained steam in the 1980s. According to the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Book, the sweaters became a party trend in Vancouver, Canada in 2001. And the trend is seemingly here to stay. According to Fox Business, the ugly sweater industry is a multi-million business, with websites such as Tipsy Elves, retailers including Macy’s, Kohl’s and Target, and even food chains jumping on the ugly bandwagon.

4. _____

While leaving treats for Santa and his reindeer dates back to ancient Norse mythology, Americans began to sweeten up to the tradition during the Great Depression in the 1930s, as a sign of showing gratitude during a time of struggle.

5. _____

Whether devoured as a treat or hung on the tree as decoration, candy canes are the No. 1-selling non-chocolate candy during December, and date back to 1670 Germany. The red and white peppermint sticks arrived stateside in 1847, when a German-Swedish immigrant in Wooster, Ohio placed them on a tree. By the 1950s, an automated candy cane-making machine was invented, cementing their mass appeal.

6. _____

Wreaths have been around since the ancient Greek and Roman times, but the evergreen Christmas wreath, often adorned with boughs of holly, eventually took on Christian meaning, with the circular shape representing eternal life and the holly leaves and berries symbolic of Christ’s crown of thorns and blood, according to the New York Times. Today’s wreaths, which come in all varieties, from flowers and fruit to glass balls and ribbon to artificial and themed, are most often seen as a secular winter tradition.

7. _____

The first official Christmas card debuted in 1843 England with the simple message, “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.” The idea of a mailed winter holiday greeting gradually caught on in both Britain and the U.S., with the Kansas City-based Hall Brothers (now Hallmark) creating a folded card sold with an envelope in 1915. Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, more than 1.6 billion holiday cards are sold annually.

8. _____

Thomas Edison may be famous for the light bulb, but it was his partner and friend, Edward Hibberd Johnson, who had the bright idea of stringing bulbs around a Christmas tree in New York in 1882. By 1914, the lights were being mass produced and now some 150 million sets of lights are sold in the U.S. each year.

9. _____

Lining up at the mall to snap a photo of the kids on Santa’s lap may seem like a modern Christmas tradition, but it dates back to 1890, when James Edgar of Brockton, Massachusetts had a Santa suit made for him and dressed as the jolly fellow at his dry goods store. The gimmick caught on and a year later Santas could be found in many stores. While many point to Edgar as the original store Santa, Macy’s in New York claims it has been hosting Santa since 1862.

10. _____

Love it or loathe it, since 2005, moms and dads have either joyously or begrudgingly been hiding a toy elf each night from Thanksgiving to Christmas. More than 13 million elves have been “adopted” since 2005 when Carol Aebersold and her daughter, Chanda Bell, published the book Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition that comes with the toy. Social media has even inspired some parents to set up elaborate scenarios for their elves.




Exercise 1:

Correct order: C – H – D – F – A – J – B – G – E – K – I

Exercise 2:

1. Christmas Trees

2. Advent Calendars

3. Ugly Christmas Sweaters

4. Cookies and Milk for Santa

5. Candy Canes

6. Door Wreaths

7. Christmas Cards

8. Christmas Lights

9. Department Store Santa

10. Elf on the Shelf

Desejo a todos um Feliz Natal, repleto de amor e carinho, e que 2021 seja um ano cheio de realizações, alegrias, e, claro, muitos abraços.

Escrito por Michel Rosas e publicado na coluna semanal da Exame.com. Editado para o blog da Companhia de Idiomas.

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