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Alternative Christmas

Alternative Christmas

Date: Dec 24 2010

Themes: Family, Holidays, Travel

Grammar: Simple Present Tense


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Typical Christmas traditions include hanging stockings in front of the fireplace, leaving a plate of cookies out for Santa, and tearing open your presents as soon as you wake up on Christmas morning. But some families like to celebrate Christmas in their own, unique way.

Having an alternative Christmas might just mean giving funny gifts instead of the usual clothes and gadgets. Or, instead of buying their loved ones a bunch of presents they don’t really want, some families use the money they would have spent on gifts to take a trip together. Others head out to a favorite restaurant instead of spending all day in the kitchen to make a home-cooked Christmas dinner.

Devan is going to have an alternative Christmas this year. Hear her tell Dale about her plans.


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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Devan:  So, I’m really excited because I’m going to New York City for Christmas this year. But it’s definitely going to be a very unconventional Christmas for me because I usually go home for Christmas, and so I’m kinda nervous. I’m like a little worried about it, but…

Dale:  So have you ever been away from home before this for the holidays? Is this your first time to be away and not be at home together as a family?

Devan:  It is. You know, usually it’s a big hassle for me to get time off work so I can go home, but I always make it work because I really love my family. But yeah, this year, I’m just going to be hanging out with my sister in a city that’s not my home, so I’m wondering if I’m going to have this void this year.

Dale:  When I was 19 I was in the Philippines and I celebrated Christmas by myself with no family. And it was extremely tough, even though I did see them when I was a kid all the time. It’s always during that Christmastime when you felt like you just had to be close to each other, and it was just really hard.

Devan:  Right.

Dale:  You’ll be fine. You’re grown up now.


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Instead of having Christmas at home this year, Devan is going to New York with her sister. She is excited about being in New York at Christmastime, when the city will be beautifully decorated for the holiday. But she is also a little worried that she might be homesick and miss the traditional family celebration.

Dale likes to have a traditional Christmas with his family. He once had to spend Christmas alone, and he didn’t like it. He thinks it’s important to be with family at Christmastime.

What is your favorite holiday? Do you like to have traditional holiday celebrations, or do you like to do things differently?



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Libyan Arab Jamahiriya


this lesson is very nice, but i don't celebrate of Christmas because i'm muslim




08:54 AM Dec 25 2010 |




yes i do. i like spring festival very much. because i can enjoy 7 days of vacation and stay together with my famlilies. this year's spring festival is feb 3rd.

07:45 AM Dec 25 2010 |



Merry Xmas :)

This year, I did have an alternative Christmas coz my husband went mountain hiking (one of his favorite activities) with his friends and I would stay at home with my kids.  Not so bad, at least it's a very quiet Xmas Eve.  We went some shopping and did enjoy the way we spent the night.  That's quite unconventional.

To me, Chinese New Year is more significant that I think all family must be close to each other.  

05:54 AM Dec 25 2010 |


Viet Nam

It's happy to have a Merry Xmas day with my love :"> hihi

05:34 AM Dec 25 2010 |


Viet Nam

Merry Xmas! Happy and lucky

05:29 AM Dec 25 2010 |




merry Christmas

04:51 AM Dec 25 2010 |

mr sonthana

Lao People's Democratic Republic

merry christmas and happy new year, i give every body to have funny and i encourage who have poor for SUSU in their life.

04:03 AM Dec 25 2010 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Coolpersian don't have christmass eve.Smile our new year starts the first of spring.

that's awesomeLaughing

04:01 AM Dec 25 2010 |



I'd like spend Christmastime with my loved people.

Merry Christmas!

03:54 AM Dec 25 2010 |



HAPPY XMAS !!!!!!!!!

10:00 PM Dec 24 2010 |



From Mexico, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year my friends!!!! Epale… j0j0j0j0

07:50 PM Dec 24 2010 |

princess jessy


Merry Christmas my friends :) and Happy New Year

05:57 PM Dec 24 2010 |




Merry Christmas an` happy New Year.

05:41 PM Dec 24 2010 |




Merry Christmas and A Happy New Yer for all of You.

12:14 PM Dec 24 2010 |




Sometimes changing the traditional way is ok. You can celebrate the important holidays in fresh mood. Of course, you have to discuss it with your family in advanced.

08:00 AM Dec 24 2010 |

reiny kwan

reiny kwan


go to church in the morning then i just spend christmastime at home, of course with my family and we will  get dinner together…

"merry Christmas…" 

03:44 AM Dec 24 2010 |

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