This week's lesson for Intermediate level English language students is about Christmas shopping, and preparing for Christmas.
Christmas is the busiest time of year for shops in the UK.
Many shops stay open till late in the run up to Christmas, so that people who work in the daytime can have extra time to shop for Christmas decorations and gifts. Most department stores decorate their windows with elaborate displays and lights. Some of the bigger stores even have a Grotto where kids can visit Santa to make last minute requests for toys and have their photo taken with him!
Not everybody enjoys the Christmas season, however. In a survey conducted by a mail order catalogue a few years back, 20% of women polled claimed to hate the festive season.
On average, the women surveyed spent almost 300 hours preparing for Christmas, so maybe that had something to do with it. They also spent, on average, 11 hours clearing up after Christmas Day; perhaps that had something to do with it as well! Despite this, 70 per cent of women polled in the survey felt that the time they spent preparing for Christmas was worthwhile.
Many shops these days begin promoting Christmas months before the holiday - sometimes as early as September! Because of this, some people feel that Christmas has become too commercial and that people have forgotten its true meaning.
How do you feel about Christmas? Have you started getting ready for Christmas yet, or do you think it's still way too early?
Activities & Quizzes
Click on the links below for interactive quizzes on this text.
Christmas Shopping - Multiple Choice ESL Reading Quiz
Preparing for Christmas - Intermediate ESL Gap Fill Quiz
Discuss these questions with a partner.
How early do you do your Christmas shopping?
Who do you buy Christmas presents for?
How much (in total) do you normally spend on Christmas presents?
How much (on average) do you spend on each Christmas present?
Have you ever shopped online for Christmas presents?
Do you give your Christmas gifts in bags, or wrap them in paper?
Which member of your family is the hardest person to buy for? Why?
Which member of your family is the easiest person to buy for? Why?
What was the best Christmas present you ever received? Why?
What was the worst Christmas present you ever received? Why?
Have you ever returned a Christmas present and exchanged it?
Have you ever bought Christmas presents in the sales, to put away for the next year?
Have you ever given hand-made Christmas presents to people?
When do you usually finish your Christmas shopping?
Do you enjoy Christmas shopping, or do you find it a chore?
Do you feel Christmas has become too commercialised?
What are you hoping to get for Christmas this year?
Christmas Activities for Beginners and Elementary Learners
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