The end of the year is fast approaching! Christmas is always an occasion to meet up with family and friends. At this time of year, there’s something in the air that brings us happiness and makes us want to share that joy with others. Lights, decorations, and music all help us connect with the festive atmosphere. During the holiday season, you’ll definitely have to interact with work colleagues, American relatives, or your friends from Australia. There’s no better opportunity to practice what you’ve been learning in your online English course and enjoy yourself at the same time! If you’re going to spend Christmas in an English-speaking context for vacations or for work, don’t stress! Use this guide to review the subjects and vocabulary you can use to have a casual conversation in English this Christmas.
Small talk in english isn’t that hard after all
Perhaps the most difficult part of a conversation is starting it. Taking this first step can be a challenge, especially if you don’t know the person you’re talking to. There are always topics, however, that are pleasant and that apply to everyone. These are the topics that can help us start a casual conversation or small talk. Here are some ideas you can use!
Food is definitely a topic that never fails. This is even truer when it comes to the holidays. So, now is the time to share information about your home country and to learn new customs and culinary traditions. Go ahead and talk a little about Christmas food! If you’re going to be in an Anglo-Saxon context, familiarise yourself in advance with the culinary culture that you can expect this time of year. You can’t go wrong if you talk about Christmas turkey or ham and drinks like apple cider and eggnog.
In some countries, stuffed turkey is the main dish on Christmas.
I really love drinking eggnog for the holidays.
It’s delicious. I miss the Christmas sweets from my country, but this dessert is tasty.
Gifts and more gifts
Gifts are definitely an important part of Christmas. More than anything, this is true for children, who anxiously look forward to their gifts from Santa Claus. At this time of year, we usually ask about the gifts others are planning to give or hoping to receive for the holidays. This is sure to be a very entertaining topic of conversation.
What did you ask Santa for this Christmas?
Where did you buy your presents this year?
I found a toy store downtown where I bought a doll for my daughter.
Some other enjoyable subjects for christmas small talk
While gifts and food are very common subjects, they aren’t the only ones you can use. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than extended silence in the middle of a conversation. Are you wondering what else you can you talk about? Here are some more tips!
Ask the person you’re talking to about their nationality and culture
One of the advantages of speaking English is that it raises the possibility of interesting cultural exchanges. During a casual chat in English, you can give information about your culture and customs. You can also inquire a bit about the nationality and customs of the people you are talking with. Even though Christmas has practically become an international holiday, not all places celebrate in the same way. So take this opportunity to expand your cultural knowledge and vocabulary. A little conversation about traditions in other countries in English will broaden your horizons!
You are from India, right? How do you celebrate Christmas?
Christmas isn’t a big celebration in India since most of the country is Hindu. So, I’m learning new things now that I’m in London.
In Mexico, we celebrate Christmas with piñatas and posadas. Have you heard about that?
Talk about who you usually spend the holidays with
Usually, one of the first topics to arise when we start a conversation with someone we don’t know has to do with family and friends. While maintaining the proper distance and respect, you can take this opportunity to get to know the person you’re talking to a little better. You can also share some information about who you usually spend the holidays with.
A little conversation about traditions in other countries in English will broaden your horizons!
Here are some examples of sentences you can use.
I heard you are from Iceland. Who do you usually spend Christmas with?
I usually spend Christmas with my parents and we invite friends over for dinner.
I celebrate Christmas with my wife and kids. We always have a wonderful time!
Don’t forget that at the end of your conversation it’s important to wish the other person a happy Christmas. You can do this with the usual Merry Christmas or you can also say Happy Holidays. As you’ve seen, starting and maintaining a conversation in English at a Christmas party isn’t an impossible mission. You just have to have some ideas about what to say and know the vocabulary. Remember that you can talk about the food, gifts, and traditions of this time of year.
Staying calm is also key. It’s normal to feel nervous, make mistakes, and run out of words. The important thing is to keep moving forward. You want to be able to communicate your ideas in English since that’s one of the objectives when learning this language. The holidays are an opportunity to connect with loved ones, close friends, and colleagues. English is the means you can use to achieve just that.
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