Hi there! I’m your English coach Christina, welcome to Speak English with Christina, where you’ll learn American culture and business know-how to become confident in English.
Christmas is coming! American people love the holiday, and we have tons of cultural stories around it. Most are filled with joy and cheer.
And yet, there is a dark side to it. Here are four famous villains in Christmas culture.
1. The Grinch
The Grinch is a green, hairy, solitary creature. He comes from the 1957 story How The Grinch Stole Christmas, a famous children’s book by very famous author Dr. Seuss.
The Grinch’s small heart prevent him from feeling the joy and love of Christmas, so he tries to steal Christmas toys from little children.
The grumpy Grinch is a Christmas icon in American culture – despite the fact that he hates this hates this holiday. His story has been adapted in 1966, 2000 and 2018 as an animated TV film, a live-action movie and a 3D computer-animated film respectively.
2. Ebenezer Scrooge
Ebenezer Scrooge is a rich, old and cold-hearted London man. His story is told in A Christmas Carol, a mid-XIXth Century novella by English author Charles Dickens.
In a cold Christmas Eve, he’s visited by the three Ghosts of Christmas, from the Past, Present and Future. They show him how his love for money over people made everyone around him miserable, including himself. In the morning, he finally decides he’ll be nicer.
His catchphrase “Bah! Humbug!” became the general signal in American culture for people who don’t like Christmas celebrations. And his name also inspired the creation for Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck’s billionaire uncle!
3. Mr Potter
Mr Potter is a cold-hearted American banker. He’s the villain of the 1946 American movie It’s a Wonderful Life.
This movie tells the story of George Bailey, and his depressing Christmas evening. Burdened by all his problems, mainly caused by Mr. Potter, George tries to kill himself by jumping off a bridge.
Fortunately, an angel catches him and shows him what his town would be if he had never been born. In this journey, George finds his will to live, and answers to his current problems.
It’s a Wonderful Life has a curious history. It wasn’t supposed to be a classic at first, but a quirk in copyright law made it available for Christmas reruns on TV.
Now all American people have fond memory of watching it with their family during Christmas season, and it’s become a staple of American culture for the holiday.
4. A Lump of Coal
This is the worst Christmas villain: a lump of coal.
In the American tradition, when a child isn’t nice during the year, when he’s naughty, we say that Santa Claus is going to bring them a lump of coal for Christmas.
It’s cruel! It can ruin a child’s day. And by emitting greenhouse gas, it can literally steal Christmas snow as well!
And now, tell me: Who are the Christmas villains in your culture?
Write your answer down in the comments! It’s a great way to practice, and share with the world!
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