31: A Very Merry Christmas

Easy English: Learn English with everyday conversations

Dec 25 2023 • 16 mins

Mitch and Isi discuss the differences between a German and a British Christmas in their festive cabin. What do you eat? Who delivers your presents... and on what day? They discuss Mrs Claus, raclette, Zulu, zuzhing and of course... booze, booze, booze. Interactive Transcript Support Easy English and get interactive transcripts and bonus content for all our episodes: easyenglish.fm/membership Transcript Mitch: [0:00] For those who are listening and have children in earsight, we may approach subject of Santa, Weihnachtsmann, of the Christkind. So there might be some spoiler alerts for little ears. Christmas song? Bing bong, bing bong, bing bong, bing bong. Isi: [0:23] Oh, my singing is fantastic. No one has Christmasy mood now. Intro Mitch: [0:58] Okay no, let's have a relaxing one. Okay. Let's imagine we're in a little log cabin. Isi: [1:03] Ooh. Mitch: [1:04] It's snowing outside. Isi: [1:06] Mm-hmm. Mitch: [1:07] We've just opened a bottle of whiskey or red wine. What would you like? Isi: [1:11] Red wine. Bottle of whiskey! Mitch: [1:14] Or Prosecco. Isi: [1:16] Prosecco. Mitch: [1:17] Okay. And the fire's on. I'm just going to open up and throw a log on the fire. All the sparks go up in the fire and it's Christmas day for our listeners. Isi: [1:29] And we're alone in a cabin in the woods or what? (Yeah, this isn't another survival episode.( And we are live, let's be authentic here it's the 20th, not far away from the 25th. So we are recording this five days before for Christmas day. (But for you guys.) For you guys, it's a Christmas day today, if you listen on Christmas but it's the 25st of December and this podcast will be a short one, a short hello for Christmas because we didn't want to go on a break. We wanted to produce a little something, something podcast. (A snippet.) A snippet um... to talk about Christmas and say hello and wish you a merry Christmas obviously only if you celebrate and otherwise a good end of the year a good start out into 2024 because it will be our last podcast of the year. Mitch: [2:21] Isi, what does Christmas Day look like for you as a German? And then we can compare notes. (Yeah.) Isi: [2:28] So in Germany, we start celebrating Christmas on the 24th, on Christmas Eve. That is like the big day. Mitch: [2:36] We do 25th in England. Isi: [2:37] Yep. We celebrate in the night. Mitch: [2:41] Day. Isi: [2:42] And that's, yeah, Christmas Day is like morning through the whole day, isn't it? Mitch: [2:46] In England, the whole day is dedicated to... Isi: [2:49] In Germany, we have the 24th, 25th and 26th for Christmas. Mitch: [2:53] Hmm. We just have 25th. Isi: [2:55] No, you don't. Mitch: [2:56] Yeah. Isi: [2:57] Boxing Day. Mitch: [2:57] Oh, 25th and 26th. (Yeah.) Yeah, yeah. Sorry. But 24th, I even worked one day on the 24th. Isi: [3:04] Hmm. Mitch: [3:04] And I was driving home for Christmas. Isi: [3:09] What else? We do have gifts. (But are you open on the 24th?) On the 24th. I mean, not everybody does the same,we do it we we do gifts first and gifts and drinks and then dinner. (Gifts, drinks, dinner. And in England we go; drink, drink drinks, drinks, gifts, drinks, drinks, drinks, drinks, little sleep, then dinner, then another little sleep whilst watching the film Zulu, or the great escape and then...) What is Zulu? Mitch: [3:40] It's like an old Michael Caine movie. (Okay.) And then After Eight / Bailey's session and then pass out on the sofa again. Isi: [3:48] Okay. On the 25th, we usually in our family rest. Because our Christmases usually, are very long into the night. Mitch: [4:00] Hibernating like some grizzly bears. Isi: [4:03] And we also have like some good food or so. but it's like, it's a day of not doing much. We also have a small family so um there was no one else to visit on that day so we just chilled, long walks, good food. But um... (Is that normally the day you do a visit the old and wrinkly people?) Hey! (Sorry.) No, other families go either yeah, grandparents, aunts, uncles somewhere or you go visit your friends or so. But it's the day where you change places to celebrate with someone else. And then, Boxing Day for us, is not called Boxing Day, obviously. Mitch: [4:39] I don't know why it's called Boxing Day. I'd have to look that up. Isi: [4:42] Then people meet again. My parents always meet friends on that day. Have a little Christmas. We always, my sister and I, have been meeting friends for the past, nearly 20 years. And do like a Friendsmas, or however you call that. Friends Christmas. And in some countryside regions, people go to pubs and they keep a stone with them and if you forget a stone you have to buy a round or so, I never understood it, I don't know. (And who is Santa Claus for you? He has many names he goes by, like the devil.) we don't have Santa... well, it depends if you... if you celebrate Christmas, in the religious way, then it's the Christkind coming on the 24th, bringing the gifts, which is basically, I don't really know. It has the looks of an angel. Mitch: [5:31] The Christ child in English, I guess. Isi: [5:34] It's the Christ child. So basically it's Jesus. But it looks like an angel and it comes, I think, with a sledge as well. It's a bit, yeah, that's how I know the pictures. It sits in a sledge. Mitch: [5:47] Like a cherub? You know cherubs that fire little love arrows? Isi: [5:50] Yeah, it's like the typical angel thing. But yeah, I don't really know. It has like a white dress on. Mitch: [5:56] Floaty dress. And they bring the presents? Isi: [6:01] They bring the presents. Um... and then there's also Nicolaus who looks a bit like Santa Claus, but more religious. (Yeah.) And he comes on the 6th of December and brings gifts then already. (Ah, you have Nicolaus Day or something, no?) Well it really depends what you teach your children, really. So you can also obviously just have Christmas for the traditional way and not for the religious way and then you would maybe also say Santa Claus comes. But I don't know. Oh yeah, the Weihnachtsmann. Mitch: [6:35] Do you think? Isi: [6:36] Oh yeah, we actually do have Santa Claus. Mitch: [6:38] Okay. When he comes on the 5th. Isi: [6:40] The Weihnachtsmann. Christmas Man Mitch: [6:41] Christmas Man. (Weihnachtsmann.) Isi: [6:43] He comes also on the 24th. Mitch: [6:47] After or before the lady Jesus? Isi: [6:48] Either Christkind or Weihnachtsmann. Or baby. Baby? Did I say baby? Mitch: [6:52] The baby? Isi: [6:53] You said baby. Mitch: [6:54] I didn't. Isi: [6:55] Maybe Jesus, you said. Mitch: [6:56] I said after or before the lady Jesus. Isi: [6:57] Lady Jesus. I don't know if it's a lady. Let's say it's a baby. Mitch: [7:02] Baby Jesus. Who delivers the gifts? Weihnachtsmann or Baby Jesus lady? Isi: [7:07] I think they can both deliver the gifts. I'm not well prepared for this. Mitch: [7:10] Should we make a disclaimer at the beginning of this, warning parents that your children may lose all faith? Isi: [7:16] So, yeah, one of those come. Or maybe... maybe for some they come together. I guess it's like how you define your own Christmas story. Mitch: [7:25] It's very confusing. We just have one man and he comes through the chimney, through keyholes. He has a magic key. He has magic reindeers, that can fly. He has a sleigh and in that sleigh, holds enough presents for... how many people are there in the world? 6 billion people? Isi: [7:44] A lot more. Mitch: [7:45] But he has enough presents for everyone around the world. He has a naughty list. He has a wife. He lives in the North Pole. (He has a wife?) Mrs. Claus. She looks after the elves, who they make the presents. They make the fur... Isi: [7:57] She looks after them? What does that mean? She cooks for them? She gives them the salary? She does the accounting? Mitch: [8:03] I don't know the details. Yeah, maybe. Isi: [8:04] Company management? Is she an HR? Mitch: [8:07] HMRC should make sure she's, you know... the elves make the skateboards, the rollerblades, PlayStation 4s. They make all that stuff, that goes on the back of the sleigh. He comes, when he comes on the 24th night, you're supposed to be in bed and not see him. He has big black boots and you're supposed to leave out a mince pie for him to eat; a glass of sherry or whiskey depending on what he... your grandad likes to drink. And a carrot for his reindeer. One of the reindeers has a red nose called Rudolph. There's a weird song in British culture of a kid coming downstairs to see his mum making out with Santa Claus, yeah. I saw Mummy kissing Santa Claus, underneath the mistletoe that night. (But it's not a real Christmas song, right?) And it's sung by Michael Jackson, so the morals are all over the place. Isi: [9:00] Let's stop it right here. Kids sing that? Mitch: [9:03] Yeah. Isi: [9:06] Isn't Christmas so confusing anyway? Such a confusing thing. And the elves, they make all the gifts. Mitch: [9:13] In the North Pole. Isi: [9:14] Whatever you want? They know how to do it all Mitch: [9:16] And he and you... sometimes... (If i want a new laptop, are they building it?) Yeah exactly, they make... they work with Apple to build laptops they work with Sony to make Playstations they work with Hitachi to make TVs. (We need to put a disclaimer in here as well, laptops you can also get by other companies.) Yeah, yeah, laptops available outside of the north pole. Isi: [9:42] So, what is the dinner? I think we've talked about this before on the podcast. So, what will you consume, eat, drink over the day? Give us a quick round up here. Mitch: [9:51] It's a roast dinner, but zhuzhed. Isi: [9:53] What? Mitch: [9:54] Zhuzh, is a really good kind of, phrase of the week to go into, but let's not do the theme tune. You can zhuzh something up. So, let's say… Isi: [10:04] Where does it come from, zhuzh? Mitch: [10:07] Zhuzh. It could be like a... it sounds Yiddish doesn't it? Let's say, you have a Christmas tree, just a Christmas tree, like a pine tree on its own. You would zhuzh it up by adding lights and decorations, to make it look prettier. (Yeah. )You can zhuzh yourself up a little bit. Oh, I just need to zhuzh myself. Isi: [10:25] Lipstick? Mitch: [10:26] Lipstick, whatever. A bit of cologne. Yeah, but it's nice to say, isn't it? (Wait, let's look that up. How do you write that?) It's a verb. Zhuh. Uh. Zhuh. Isi: [10:39] UK informal. To make something more interesting, more attractive by changing it slightly or adding something into it. The stylist says he would zhoosh up the outfit with a hat. Zhoosh. Mitch: [10:50] Zhoosh. Isi: [10:50] Zhoosh. It's like that H, U, Z, H. Ah, and it's Yiddish. Mitch: [10:56] Is it? Isi: [10:57] Yeah. Interesting. That's a nice, nice phrase. Mitch: [11:00] And how... (Ah, zhoosh me up. )It's a zhooshed up roast dinner. Isi: [11:04] Give me a minute. I need to zhoosh me up. Mitch: [11:06] I need to zhuzh up my face, zhuzh my life up. And so, yeah, it's a zhuzhed up roast dinner, basically. Isi: [11:14] What does that mean? What is different? Mitch: [11:15] This is the time we'd crack out the turkey, because usually roast dinners you'd have either lamb, beef, pork or chicken. For Christmas dinner, it's usually turkey. Don't know why, because turkeys are Christmas animals, apparently. And you'd really just fill it with more stuff. These things called pigs in blankets, which is sausage, wrapped up in a bacon blanket and then, you know, fried or oven-baked. What else would you have? Isi: [11:41] Oh, yeah, I remember when we had English Christmas in your family, your mum did vegan or vegetarian picks and blankets. Do you remember? Mitch: [11:50] I do remember. Or as Boris Johnson says, vegan. (Yeah, does he?) Vegan. (Very German.) Isi: [11:57] Okay, go on. Mitch: [11:59] Yeah, yeah, that's kind of, to be simple, that's what it is. (What do you drink?) Yes. Uh... so but um... specifically, I mean this might not be every family but in the mornings it's nice to have something called a Buck's Fizz or in the U.S you'd say a Mimosa. Buck's Fizz is an orange juice mixed with a fizzy wine, and then you'd work your way up slowly throughout the day, until you basically cannot stand. You'd usually end with like a Baileys or an Amarula. Something creamy. Isi: [12:31] Mm-hmm. Very nice. Mitch: [12:32] I'm also someone who likes this thing called a Snowball, which is eggnog, basically. Vodka and egg. And then you make a shot of that and then you fill the rest of your glass with lemonade. It's like a good pick-me-up drink when you're hitting that kind of, slump hour. Just after you've watched Zulu and it's like a three and a half hour film and you're like, oh God, I'm dying here. Then you have a quick Snowball and you're back in the game, ready to play charades with the family. And what do you do in Germany? Isi: [13:08] Oh, everybody does it differently, really. Some people have... Mitch: [13:13] A zhuzhed up something. Isi: [13:15] We do raclettes often. um often some other people do fondue, which is putting meat into hot water basically, or into oil, or both, then... (You can have a cheese fondue.) That as well, some people do like a traditional thing more like, the English dinner like, duck with like a gravy and like potatoes and like red cabbages that kind of stuff, which is a bit like a roast. Um... some people and I don't really know where it's coming from, but there's something that it's traditional to have a potato salad and a Wiener sausage, Wiener Würstchen with it. (Really?) Which is like super, super, super easy, simple food. And I don't know where it comes from and probably has a, has a story. So some people even do that. And then on the 21st do like a big dinner. So it's very mixed up. Like it's in England it's always the same, right? (Yeah.) Mitch: [14:09] But I feel like there's something we have in common, which is typically for a typical Christmas dinner is mum just completely overworked, sweating, because she's having to cook for like 10 people. And then your dad, getting really annoyed because he has to find where the raclette is somewhere in the loft. And he's all covered in dust. And he's fallen over a couple of times, because he's had a few too many drinks beforehand. And then, not doing anything from about 4pm onwards, because he's too busy trying to fix the... DVD player or whatever, so everyone can watch Home Alone. Isi: [14:40] Yeah, that's true. Mitch: [14:43] I'd like to hear, well... we'd both like to hear how Christmas looks for you guys. So feel free to send us a message, write to us, speak to us, go to easyenglish.fm or write to us at podcast@easyenglish.video. Isi: [14:57] And if you don't celebrate Christmas and have another celebration, another holiday that you celebrate, please tell us about that too. That's it, we do a quick one this this year we would like to remind you of our 30 Day Challenge, our first ever 30 Day Challenge starting on January 2nd, 30 days until January 31st, you can practice your English with us, every day, for continuous 30 days we give you little challenges it will be fun it will be about different topics about speaking writing understanding English. And it's all happening on our Discord server, where we anyway are every day chatting with our members. And you only have to do one thing. Become a member, join our community, and go to easyenglish.video/membership And yeah, join us. We are so much looking forward to this. We hope you all come there and spend a month of learning English with us. Yeah. Please, please join. That will be fun. Mitch: [15:57] Yeah, we have a nice community on Discord, don't we? )Yeah.) you'll get to meet and chat with and yeah, we'll be there to chat with you as well and to get to know you. (Yes yes.) all right, that's it. (That's it, end of the year, we want to thank you all, thanks for listening, thanks for it's it's incredible still to me, to you probably too, that people actually listen to this. Yeah, have a good and... and hopeful end of the year. We hope you can all relax, you're healthy and next year will be a brilliant year. Te-ra!) Merry Christmas. Support Easy English and get interactive transcripts and bonus content for all our episodes: easyenglish.fm/membership