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Exercise I – Test yourself on Christmas in twenty questions
How many of the questions below can you answer?
KEY: 1. Boxing Day; 2. a stocking (in fact a long sock); 3. by climbing down the chimney at night; 4. reindeer; 5. a wreath; 6. holly, ivy and fir; 7. bunches of mistletoe; 8. exchange kisses; 9. the robin; 10. nativity play; 11. a cracker; 12. Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband; 13. around 1840; 14. pantomime of a folk tale or fairy tale put on at Christmas by local theatres; 15. Christmas Carol; 16. Norway; 17. King’s College Chapel of Cambridge University; 18. roast turkey; 19. Irving Berlin; 20 Twelfth Night (6th of January)
Exercise II – The Worst Possible Present
Let’s face it, not all of our Christmas presents are exactly what we’ve been hoping for. And, conversely, what we give other people may also prove to be something of a ‘white elephant’. Imagine the worst possible presents for some of the ‘Christmas characters’ listed below and write what each character gets in the provided spaces.
Here are our suggestions. Decide which gift was given to whom, then check your answers in the key.
a) a powder compact; b) a pedigree bullterrier; c) three forms of ‘goods to declare’ for completion; d) some sun-tan lotion and a free ticket to the Bahamas; e) the virus of the bird flu; f) Dan Brown’s novel The DaVinci Code; g) a razor and some shaving cream; h) some sliced salami
KEY: 1d; 2c; 3g; 4b; 5e; 6f; 7a; 8h
The fragments of popular Christmas carols (A) and Christmas songs (B) given below contain mistakes. Find which words in each text are wrong. Do you remember which words are used in the original?
A – Christmas carols
1. O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Beside thy deep and dreamless sleep
The roaring cars go by
2. Away in a stable, no crib for a bed,
The Little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head
3. God help you poor gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay
For Jesus Christ, Our Saviour,
Was born upon this day
4. Oh come, all ye grateful
Joyful and triumphant
Oh come ye, oh come ye, to Bethlehem
5. Joy to the
world! the Lord is come;
6. Hark! the
herald angels sing
B – Christmas songs
1. Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
2. I'll be home for Christmas;
3. Here comes Santa Claus!
4. Frosty the snowman was a jolly happy
5. In the garden we can build a
He'll say: Are you married?
6. I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
A: 1. Above thy deep and dreamless sleep, the silent stars go by; 2. away in a manger; 3. God rest you merry, gentlemen (Please note the punctuation); 4. Oh come, all ye faithful; 5. Let earth receive her King; 6. God and sinners reconciled;
B: 1. you would even say it glows; 2. snow and mistletoe; 3. Right down Santa Claus Lane; 4. and a button nose; 5. in the meadow we can build a snowman; 6. the treetops glisten
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