Here to return to the previous page
Sino-Canadian International College, Guangxi University, Online English Lesson Plans, Lesson Material and Ideas
for Reading Lessons...
Reading Exercise: Christmas
the following article using the vocabulary list provided. Answer the
questions based on the article.
Christmas, the most joyous of American holidays, is celebrated on December
25th to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. Almost all workers have
Christmas Day off, and students have a two to three week vacation for
Christmas and New Year.
Early Puritans, settlers who came to America in the 1600's, disliked the
Christmas holiday and did not celebrate it. Celebrating Christmas became
popular in the nineteenth century, after many German and Irish immigrants
had come to America.
Today, people might start saving for Christmas in September or even in
August. However, the Christmas season really starts right after
Thanksgiving. Street lights and store windows are decorated in the
traditional Christmas colors of red and green.
Snowmen, Santa Clauses, and Nativity scenes appear in many shop windows.
Many people decorate their homes with colored lights, and evergreens,
Christmas trees, holly wreaths, and mistletoe are common sights.
Young men enjoy mistletoe very much, because they can kiss any girl they
find standing under it. Thus many fraternities hang mistletoe at the
entrance, and some young men carry a piece of mistletoe with them and hold
it above the head of whichever girl they want to kiss.
People send Christmas cards to their families, relatives, friends and
business customers. They may put the cards that they have received on the
wall, the mantle, or hang them on a string, as Christmas cards are very
colorful and beautiful.
During the Christmas season, Christmas carols are heard all over, on radio,
on TV, in church, and at school. Following an English tradition, many people
walk from house to house singing traditional carols, such as "Joy to
the World," "Silent Night," and "Oh Come, All Ye
Many people do Christmas shopping in December. They look for nice gifts for
their family, relatives, and friends. It is said that stores make one
quarter of all their sales during the Christmas season.
Most shopping centers have huge crowds before Christmas. There is often a
nice Christmas tree, and usually a man dressed in a Santa Claus suit. Small
children tell him what they want for Christmas.
Many people hold Christmas parties before Christmas. The guests drink, eat,
and dance surrounded by Christmas decorations. A typical drink served at
Christmas parties is eggnog, which is made of eggs, milk, sugar and
Small children hang stockings near the fireplace, hoping that Santa Claus
will fill them with candy and toys. They believe that Santa Claus, who wears
red suit and hat and has a beard, comes in a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer
and visits each house, coming in through the chimney, bringing gifts to
Some people may go to Colorado for skiing or Florida for sunbathing during
the Christmas holidays. Many people celebrate Christmas at home and in
church. Many families go to church on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning.
On Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, family members gather around the
Christmas tree and open the Christmas gifts that are piled under the tree.
Early Christmas afternoon, they sit down for a traditional Christmas dinner.
They enjoy turkey or ham, sweet potatoes, vegetables, cranberry sauce, nuts,
fruitcake, plum pudding, and mince pie. They may invite their family,
relatives, and friends.
commemorate: give honor to the memory of
Puritans: members of a religious group in England and New England in the
16th and 17th centuries that wished to make religion simpler and opposed the
use of ceremony in church services
snowmen: figures of men made out of snow
Nativity scenes: scenes showing the infant Jesus, his parents, and those who
came to visit him, in the stable where he was born
evergreens: trees that do not lose their leaves in winter
holly: a small tree with dark green, shiny, prickly leaves and red berries
wreaths: circles of flowers or leaves twisted together
mistletoe: a plant with small, waxy white berries, that grows high in trees
fraternities: societies of men or boys joined by a common interest,
especially such an organization in high schools and colleges
mantle: top and sides of a fireplace
carols: religious songs of joy and praise, especially sung at Christmas
Ye: old form of "you"
rum: an alcoholic drink made from sugar cane, etc.
sleigh: vehicle which slides on snow on two metal blades
reindeer: a kind of large deer with long, branching horns
sunbathing: spending time in strong sunlight, sitting or Iying, in order to
make the body brown
ham: salted and smoked meat from the upper part of a pig's hind leg
cranberry: firm, sour, dark red berry that grows on low shrubs
mince: a mixture of chopped apples, raisins, fat, spices and sometimes meat
1. Who do people send Christmas cards to?
2. What do you hear in many places during the Christmas season?
3. When do people go Christmas shopping?
4. Do people have a traditional Christmas dinner in the afternoon, or in the
1. When did Christmas become popular in the United States?
2. Who brought the Christmas celebration to America?
3. What are traditional Christmas colors?
4. How can you tell when the Christmas season has started?
5. What might a young man do with a piece of mistletoe if he wants to kiss a
6. Where do people put the Christmas cards they receive?
7. What portion of their sales are stores said to make during the Christmas
8. What is a typical drink for Christmas parties?
9. Where do small children hang stockings? Why?
10. What is served for a traditional Christmas dinner?
1. Few workers have a holiday on Christmas Day. True /
2. Puritans came to America in the 1600's and started
True / False
3. When Thanksgiving is over, the Christmas season begins.
True / False
4. If they have a piece of mistletoe, young men can kiss
any girl. True / False
5. "Silent Night," and "Oh Come, All Ye
Faithful" are all traditional Christmas carols.
True / False
6. Many people go Christmas shopping in December, because
gifts are cheaper than
in other months. True / False
7. Christmas parties are usually held on Christmas Day,
and the guests drink, eat,
and dance surrounded by Christmas
decorations. True / False
8. People spend their Christmas holiday in different ways;
some stay home and others
travel. True / False
9. Christmas gifts are opened by family members around the
True / False