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five ways to spend the Christmas holiday in the US
Lindsay:This is an All Ears English Podcast, Episode 26.
Gabby: Welcome to the All Ears English Podcast, where you’ll finally get real, native English conversation. Now here are your hosts, Lindsay McMahon, the ‘English Adventurer’ and Gabby Wallace, the ‘Language Angel,’ coming to you from Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Lindsay: In this episode, you’ll learn five ways to spend the Christmas holiday in the US.
Gabby: Hey Lindsay. How’s it going?
Lindsay: Hey Gabby. What’s happening?
Gabby: Well, I want to talk a little bit about this holiday coming up. This holiday called…Lindsay: Christmas!
Gabby: Christmas. So yeah, we’re gonna (going to) talk a little bit about being away from home in America over the Christmas holiday and a little bit about Christmas stuff like things you should know, that, (you know), might be different from back home.
Lindsay: Yeah, okay. So where should we start today?
Gabby: Oh my gosh. So… well I would say, (you know), how do you have fun and enjoy Christmas when you’re not with your family? You’re in a new city, you’re in a new country in the US. What are some things that you could do for fun? What’s one thing that comes to mind?
Lindsay: Yeah. I mean, (you know), often you can go and do public ice skating.
Gabby: Oh cool.
Lindsay: Okay. So that’s one thing that’s kinda (kind of) cool to do.
Gabby: Ice skating, (um), if you’re in Boston in the Boston Common, in New York City Central Park, so much fun.
Lindsay: Rockefeller Center. They have that skating rink in Bryant Park also.
Gabby: Yeah. It’s great to do with your friends or like on a date (um) and there’s (there are) a lot of Christmas parties. (Like), (you know), check the newspaper, check club listings. There might be like a Christmas-themed event. That would also be fun.
Lindsay: Right. Cocktail parties also.
Lindsay: If you get invited to a cocktail party, what’s one thing you should remember?
Gabby: (Um) well two things.
Lindsay: Okay, two things.
Gabby: One thing you had mentioned (um) bringing something.
Gabby: Like a bottle of wine.
Gabby: That would be perfect.
Lindsay: Yeah. Yes.
Gabby: A bottle of wine for your host.
Gabby: (Um) also, it’s really big to wear red at holiday parties to wear like a nice red dress, (um).
Gabby: I mean Christmas colors are red and green, but you don’t have to wear all red and green. But I’m just saying for the ladies if you have a nice (like) red cocktail dress it could be a nice time to use it.
Lindsay: Yeah and cocktail parties are fancier. They’re on the fancier side. So, I mean, when I go to a party, I often wear jeans, but I wouldn’t wear jeans to a cocktail party.
Gabby: No. (It would) be (like) heels…
Lindsay: That’s something you need to know.
Gabby: …and a cute….
Lindsay: Yes. Yes. Absolutely.
Gabby: Guys, maybe a suit jacket.
Lindsay: (Mm-hmm). Totally.
Gabby: Yeah. Looking good.
Lindsay: Cool. Okay.
Gabby: Oh and if you’re at a party, watch out for mistletoe. I don’t know it’s like agreen leaf thing with (like) red berries. People hang it in doorways and,
(you know), if you walk under it with someone else, the tradition is you have to kiss that person.
Lindsay: You see that a lot in the movies too.
Gabby: Yeah. Yeah.
Lindsay: Yeah. Yeah.
Gabby: You can use it to your advantage if you want.
Gabby: Another good thing is a lot of big cities they have (um) huge Christmas trees, so you could go – if you catch the lighting (um) or you could just go, (you know), after the Christmas tree is up, you could go take a walk around there, take pictures. (Um) it’s really, it’s really cool. I know in the Boston Common they have one. They probably have one in Central Park too, right?
Lindsay: Probably. Yeah. I don’t remember, but probably. Yeah.
Gabby: Okay. Cool.
Lindsay: Yeah and I would just say to just keep in mind that even if you’re feeling lonely or away from your, your family and your home culture, just think maybe you’re only here for a few years, and it’s a unique opportunity…Gabby: Yeah. Take advantage of that.
Lindsay: …to be in a new place for Christmas time.
Gabby: Well and another thing about the US is we often spend Christmas with family, whereas, (you know), I used to live in Japan and I know Christmas is like a big date night in Japan, so it’s just, (you know), it’s good to know… Of course you can go on a date on Christmas.
Lindsay: Sure. You can do whatever you want.
Gabby: You can do whatever you want.
Gabby: But yeah, just take advantage of it, and, (you know), check (um) universities too. They often have international student gatherings or (you know) international groups. There’s one called InterNations. There might be different groups in your city, so just see what’s going on and there’s no reason why you couldn’t organize your own event as well.
Lindsay: Right. And there’s one more thing that you can do. (Um) a lot of times we like to volunteer. If you’re feeling bored or lonely, you could volunteer at a soup kitchen. A soup kitchen is a place where (uh) people serve food to homeless people. So go and give something. If you’re feeling sad, just give.
Gabby: Yeah. That’s a great idea. It’s a great way to meet people as well.
Lindsay: For sure. And to practice your English!
Gabby: Yeah. Cool.
Gabby: Great ideas. So yeah, Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you enjoy the holiday away from home and that you just have a great time.
Lindsay: Yeah. Enjoy.
Gabby: Yeah. All right so we’ll see you tomorrow and we’re going to have a ‘Teaching Tuesday’ to just talk about some of the phrases that we used in this episode more in depth, so I’ll see you then.
Lindsay: See you then.
Gabby: So, yeah looking back at our episode today, our ‘Meeting Monday,’ we just wanted to mention that we know Christmas is a religious event. It comes from Catholicism, obviously, but we’re talking about it in more of a cultural (um) way that, (you know), if you’re in the US, it’s celebrated. (You know) you’re gonna (going to) see (um) the stores celebrating Christmas. You’re gonna (going to) see a big ol’ (old) Christmas tree in the park and (um) it’s good to know what it is and, (you know), just to celebrate as (like) a cultural event not necessarily a religious event.
Lindsay: Thank you.
Lindsay: Okay. So (you know), I’ve actually talked with 30 different students over the past few months and a lot of the students that I’ve spoken with have said that they’re at an intermediate level or high intermediate level and they just can’t seem to find a way to move beyond that intermediate level, to move to the advanced level. And this is what we wanna (want to) help you guys with, but if you really wanna (want to) move to that level, it’s gonna (going to) require a little bit more of a commitment, okay. So go for the premium transcripts that we have available for you and in order to get those, you need to go to www.allearsenglish.com/conversations. So check it out.
Lindsay:Thanks for listening to the All Ears English Podcast. We’re here to help you learn English and you can help us by leaving a five star review on iTunes.
See you next time!
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