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Reading Comprehension Worksheets
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Christmas
The Green, Prickly Things of Christmas

Holidays
Holidays


The Green, Prickly Things of Christmas
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.94

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    czechoslovakian, life-giving, solstice, mistletoe, monk, wealthy, supposedly, musical, legend, phrase, marriage, fans, swedish, mysterious, power, folklore
     content words:    Bright Christmas, Saint Boniface, Christian Church, Prince Albert, Queen Victoria, Windsor Castle, Wealthy English, In Japan, Christmas Eve, In Scandinavia


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The Green, Prickly Things of Christmas
By Colleen Messina
  

1     Many of us think of white winter snow when we think of Christmas, but there are green things during the Christmas season, too. Green and prickly things, and not just the Grinch! Bright Christmas trees, shiny holly, and mistletoe help to make the season green and cheery. How did decking our homes with these green, prickly things become a part of Christmas?
 
2     Christmas trees begin appearing in stores as early as October. This is almost as mystifying as the many legends about their origins. One legend says that Saint Boniface, an English monk who spread Christianity into Germany, started the Christmas tree tradition in the 8th century. Other sources say that the tradition goes all the way back to ancient Egypt. Others give credit to the Chinese, Hebrews, or Romans.
 
3     Christmas trees over the centuries have had many kinds of decorations on their beautiful, prickly branches. The custom of decorating an evergreen tree is believed to have begun in 16th century Germany, and other countries later adopted the tradition. Prince Albert, who was married to Queen Victoria, made Christmas trees popular in England in the Victorian era. The first Christmas tree was put up for him in 1841 at Windsor Castle and decorated with fruit, candles, and spicy gingerbread. Wealthy English families followed the example and decorated their trees with tiny musical instruments, costume jewelry, candy, and dolls. Soon the custom spread to America and then to the rest of the world.

Paragraphs 4 to 8:
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