I. Pre-Listening Exercises [Top]

Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Day are some of the major holidays in the United States. From what you understand, how are these holidays celebrated (food, family activities, local celebrations, games and recreation, etc.)?

HELPFUL TIP: Many countries have a day of thanksgiving, and learning about this holiday and respecting the traditions associated with it can mean a lot to the people of that country. Search the Internet to see how this day is celebrated in different countries.

II. Listening Exercises [Top]

Listen to the conversation by pressing the “Play Audio” button and answer the questions. Press the “Final Score” button to check your quiz.

1. Where does this news program take place?

A. at a shopping center

B. at a local school

C. in a city market place
2. How does the young girl, Elizabeth, celebrate this holiday with her family?

A. They go out to eat at a restaurant.

B. They visit close relatives.

C. They go to see a movie.

3. What does Johnny and his family eat on this day?

A. turkey

B. ham

C. chicken

4. What sentence best describes Steven’s feelings about Christmas?

A. It’s a time when people exchange gifts with friends, family, and teachers.

B. It’s a holiday when friends give gifts during an elaborate dinner.

C. It’s a day when people think of others without waiting for a gift in return.

5. The final young woman says that the best thing about Christmas is:

A. receiving presents from classmates.

B. having a vacation from school

C. sleeping late every day

Score =
Correct answers:

News Reporter: Hello. This is Charles Richards from Channel 7 News, and we’re down here, uh, at the City Mall, interviewing people on how they celebrate Christmas. And, uh, hi young lady. What is your name?
Young Girl: Elizabeth Carter.

News Reporter: And, uh, Elizabeth, uh. How does your family celebrate Christmas?

Young Girl: We go sledding, and we go over to my grandparents house and have dinner with them.

News Reporter: Well, that is great, and let me ask this young man. Hi, what is your name? [Johnny.] And Johnny, how old are you?

Johnny: Five.

News Reporter: And, uh, does your family eat anything particular for Christmas?

Johnny: Turkey . . .

News Reporter: And what does Christmas mean to you?

Young Girl: Going to my grandma’s and making their breakfast.

News Reporter: Going to grandma’s and making breakfast. And let me ask another young man. Hi, what is your name? [Steven.] Okay, and Steven, what does Christmas mean to you?

Steven: Giving by not expecting to get.

News Reporter: Now, that’s kind of hard for a young man like yourself. What does that mean: Giving by not expecting?

Steven: Well, one thing that we do is secret giving.

News Reporter: Secret giving? Now how does that work in your family?

Steven: We sneak up to the porch of somebody we want to give to, we put the gift we want to give to them, ring the doorbell, and hide.

News Reporter: Ring the doorbell and hide? Uh, so you’re not expecting something; you just want to be generous to someone else. Is that right?

Steven: Yeah. That’s correct.

News Reporter: And let’s interview one more. And, uh, how do you celebrate Christmas? What is the best thing about Christmas and what does it mean to you?

Child: It means getting off from school!

News Reporter: Getting off from school?! Do you all feel that way?

Group of Children: Yeah!!

Young Girl: Because I hate homework.

News Reporter: Yeah. Well, that all here from the City Mall. Channel 7 reporting.

Key Vocabulary [Top]
  • sledding (noun): the activity or sport of ridding on a sled, usually in snow
    – I took the kids sledding yesterday down a real fun hill, and we had a great time.
  • particular (adjective): special or specific
    – Our family doesn’t do anything particular on Christmas morning besides opening up gifts.
  • sneak (verb): to advance or approach without being seen
    – My son often tries to sneak into the kitchen and take a cookie when no one is watching.
  • hide (verb): to prevent from being seen or discovered
    – Parents often hide their children’s Christmas presents to keep them a secret.
  • generous (adjective): willing to give or share freely
    – People are often very generous around the holiday season and donate.