843 Christmas Day

Fred talks about the daily routine for his Family on Christmas day in Canada.


Anja: So, Fred, tell me, what do you guys do on Christmas day? Like, what do you eat? When do you open the gifts? Who's coming over? Are you going to visit your family?

Fred: Well, Anja, the routine in Canada for Christmas is quite simple. The kids get very excited on the 25th because early in the morning, at around seven o'clock, that's when we open the gifts.

Anja: Oh, you open the gifts in the morning?

Fred: That's right.

Anja: Oh, wow.

Fred: At around seven o'clock in the morning, we... well, as I kid I remember being so unbelievably excited, so at night, I don't think I could sleep. I was too excited about waking up early in the morning and then opening my gifts. So what we do is that the parents put the gifts under the Christmas tree, and then early on the 25th, in the morning we all gather around the Christmas tree and then, one-by-one, we open the gifts.

Anja: So you open the gifts in your pajamas, and then you...

Fred: That's right. But that's not the most exciting part of the day.

Anja: Oh, it's not? What is then?

Fred: No, the food is.

Anja: The food.

Fred: The food is the most exciting part of the day. Well, in Canada we eat lots of, as you may know, we have maple syrup.

Anja: Oh, yes, that's right. You are really famous for that, right?

Fred: For maple syrup. Maple syrup is something that Canadian people love eating during the Christmas holidays and so all of the time through the week of the 25th until New Year's Eve, the first of January, we cook many kind of different dishes and we just put maple syrup on it.

Anja: Oh, really. For instance, what do you eat? Is there some traditional food you have for Christmas in Canada?

Fred: Of course. We have traditional food. As you may know, pancakes.

Anja: Of course.

Fred: Yes.

Anja: I love my pancakes.

Fred: You do, you do, yeah. Yeah, I love pancakes, too. We put maple syrup on it. Oh, it's so good, you know, and you know what else is really good?

Anja: What is?

Fred: We fry pig's ears.

Anja: Oh my god, you do?

Fred: Yeah, it's delicious, and the tongue of the pig as well. We fry it. And then we put maple syrup on it.

Anja: Oh, wow, I didn't know that. That's quite interesting.

Fred: Yeah, it's delicious. You should try it one day.

Anja: Oh, I will definitely.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

open gifts


We open gifts on Christmas morning.

Christmas gifts are wrapped in special decorative paper. When we 'open' them, we remove the paper and see what's inside the boxes.  Notice the following:

  1. Our family opens gifts on Christmas Eve.
  2. As a kid I couldn't wait to open gifts.

unbelievably excited


As a kid, I remember being so unbelievably excited.

Something that is 'unbelievable' is very surprising or difficult to believe.  Notice the following:

  1. My first rock concert was unbelievably exciting.
  2. She was unbelievably excited to meet him.

one by one


We gather around the tree, and we open the gifts one by one.

When we do something one by one, we do it in sequence; 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.  Notice the following:

  1. He answered the questions one by one.
  2. They walked into the room one by one.



We open our gifts in pajamas.

'Pajamas' are comfortable sleeping clothes.  Notice the following:

  1. It's too hot to wear pajamas in the summer.
  2. In my country, you need to wear pajamas in the winter.



We have pancakes, and we put maple syrup on them.

'Pancakes' are a thin round cake made from flour, milk, eggs and sugar that are cooked in a pan an eaten for breakfast.  Notice the following:

  1. Pancakes are fattening, but I love them!
  2. Let's have pancakes for breakfast.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
open gifts • unbelievably • one by one
pajamas • pancakes
  1. The movie was scary.
  2. The secretary called everybody on the list .
  3. Do you want fruit in your or do you just want syrup?
  4. We will before we eat cake.
  5. Please put on your because it's time for bed.