Christmas is not only a time to enjoy the company of your friends and family (in socially-distanced circumstances, of course), but also a chance to be inspired creatively, and write. Here are some seasonally-inspired idioms to brighten your writing.
Meaning: You can use this when something really good happens, that was completely unexpected.
Use: Jill received her university acceptance letter this morning. She thought Christmas came early!
Meaning: Used as an excuse for bad or excessive behaviour, such as eating too much or spending too much money.
Use: I know I didn’t need to buy doughnuts as well as cupcakes, but hey, Christmas comes but once a year, right?
Meaning: Like the festive tree used to decorate homes, that is covered with baubles, tinsel and lights, this means a person is elaborately dressed, or wearing clothes and jewellery that are too fancy.
Use: Even though the party invitation said “dress casual”, Uncle Lam still arrived lit up like a Christmas tree.
Meaning: To “trim” something normally means to cut a little bit off, but it can also mean to decorate. So to trim the tree means to hang lights, baubles and other decorations on the Christmas tree.
Use: My grandparents have a family tradition where we all gather at their flat to trim the tree and drink hot chocolate.
Meaning: You can only judge if something is good or bad after you have tried or used it. Christmas pudding is a fruity, common dish served hot as a rich dessert.
Use: Mrs Ching said the set design was fine, but the proof will be in the pudding. We’ll find out once they build it and people actually stand on it!
Meaning: Something that is easy to do
Use: I was so worried about the chemistry test, but it was a piece of cake!
Meaning: to suddenly and completely stop a bad habit. Turkey is a popular meat served on Christmas Day.
Use: Bob smoked for 20 years, but he quit cold turkey when his son was born.
Meaning: to be ignored, forgotten, or left out of a group
Use: Sandy was feeling left out in the cold by his hockey team until Ray invited him to sit with them at lunch.
Meaning: If a plan is on ice, you’ve decided to delay it for a while
Use: The plan to import pork from Germany was put on ice amid the fourth wave of Covid-19 in that country.
Meaning: to be doing something that may get you in trouble
Use: Rob is really skating on thin ice. If he keeps getting home late every night, he is going to be grounded.
Meaning: something doesn’t need to be big or extravagant to be good. For example, a diamond ring is tiny, but a lot more valuable than a 60-pack of toilet paper.
Use: People thought Esther wouldn’t be good at basketball because she’s not very tall, but she proved good things come in small packages when she scored in the first minute.
Meaning: Used to describe a plan or action that someone is very unlikely to choose or do. People eat turkeys for Christmas dinner, so it’s unlikely a turkey would choose for Christmas to happen.
Use: The students won’t agree to do extra Zoom study sessions over the holiday. It would be like turkeys voting for Christmas.