Christmas in Europe (Finland and Greece)

Secondary students compare how Christmas is celebrated in northern and southern Europe and talk about their own.

Author: Joanna Dossetor



To practise reading skills using two texts about Christmas in two countries.


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Worksheet 1, 2

Language focus

Vocabulary and expressions related to Christmas

Skills focus

Prediction, vocabulary in context, micro-skills of reading





  • Introduce the topic of Christmas by talking about traditions in other countries. Write useful vocabulary on the board.
  • Introduce the topic of Christmas in northern and southern Europe: Finland and Greece. Briefly brainstorm what the students know about these places and what they know/can imagine Christmas traditions might be there.




  • Put the students in pairs and give each of them a Worksheet 1 or 2 (A or B).
  • Have them read the four True or False statements and decide what they think.





  • Ask the students to read the texts to check their predictions.
  • The students read their texts again to complete the appropriate column on the worksheet.
  • Now put the students into pairs, A and B and they tell their partner about Christmas in the country they have read about. The other student complete the blank column in the table with their partner’s information.


Extension task

Ask the students to write about Christmas traditions in their own country. They should imagine they are explaining them to someone who has never been to their country.


Worksheet 1 – 1 a) T, b) F, c) F, d) T

Worksheet 2 – 2 a) F, b) T, c) F, d) F

How do people decorate their houses? Finland: Christmas trees; Greece: little ships with lights, Christmas tree.

How old is the Christmas tree tradition? Finland: nearly 200 years old; Greece: about 70 years old.

What do people eat on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day? Finland: smoked ham and fish dishes; Greece: pork and a special Christmas loaf called christopsomo.

Does Santa Claus have a house in this country? Finland: yes; Greece: no.

Do children sing carols in this country? Finland: we don’t know; Greece: yes.