Dai: So Darren, it’s not long now until Christmas, are you looking forward to it?
Darren: Yes and no. I do like Christmas, the spirit of Christmas, I believe it does bring people closer together, but the thing I find year upon year is becoming more and more tiresome for me is the pressure put on people, especially families with young children, to spend lots and lots of money. I think the true meaning of Christmas is lessening year upon year.
Dai: Right. What is the true meaning of Christmas then?
Darren: Well I think it like I said it’s families getting together and people showing kindness to one another. I think that should happen all the time mind, but I think at Christmas people do get together and you see people and you wish them a Merry Christmas and it’s a really lovely atmosphere to be in over a couple of weeks over the whole Christmas period. That is what I really do enjoy about Christmas, but as I said I think it’s becoming too commercialized--too much pressure to buy the latest toy. There always seems to be the in-toy to have and I think people who could afford it: great, but I think a lot of the families really struggle at Christmas and they’re probably in debt for the next twelve months until the next Christmas.
Dai: Wow, it sounds like it would put a lot of pressure on families.
Darren: Yeah, I think it does. That’s in general, but especially at Christmas I really do feel for some of the families who obviously are struggling with finances. I’d like that to not detract from what Christmas is really about which is a great time and we have got a fairly big family and we do do a lot of visiting and we have great times at Christmas and we probably do too much on the food and drink.
Dai: Food and drink: like what kind ... you know, what are your favorite bits about the food and drink?
Darren: I always love Christmas dinner. The turkey is always cooked to perfection and wherever we go the cooking is usually absolutely spot on. No matter how much we eat of Christmas dinner, there’s always room left for a bit of Christmas pudding as well.
Dai: Christmas pudding?
Darren: Yeah, it’s a very rich, fruit-based pudding which you can usually have with either brandy sauce, which is the only time of the year you ever eat brandy sauce, or with something like cream or custard.
Dai: Oh, OK. And what does it taste like then?
Darren: It’s very, very rich. It’s one of those things where you either love it or you hate it. I think I’m the only one in my family who eats Christmas pudding, which is great news for me because it means I’ve got it all to myself, but I do suffer for it afterwards--very, very bloated and flake out on to the settee and one eye on the television and the other eye sleeping.
Dai: OK, yeah, it sound like a good time then.
Christmas is becoming too commercialized.
When something is commercialized, it is used to earn money, much like a business. Note the following:
- People complain the beach town has become too commercialized.
- Valentine's Day has become very commercialized.
the latest thing / the in-thing
You have to buy the latest toy, the in-toy.
We use the phrases 'the latest' or 'in-thing' to talk about something that is very popular now. Note the following:
- Tight jeans are the in-fashion at the moment.
- Have you seen the latest gadget by Apple? It is the in-thing to have.
The cooking is usually absolutely spot on.
The phrase 'spot on' is similar in meaning to 'perfect' or 'excellent'. Note the following:
- He is British, but his American accent is spot on.
- The acting in the movie was spot on.
After Christmas dinner, I feel very bloated.
We feel bloated after we eat or drink too much. Note the following:
- I always feel bloated after eating a big steak.
- Even though the children were starving, they had bloated bellies.
After the meal, I flake out on to the settee.
Here, the phrase 'flake out' means to fall asleep when sometimes we don't plan to. Note the following:
- Some students flake out during lecture.
- He often flakes out watching late night movies.
Santi from Indonesia talks about Christmas.
Darren shares his feelings about Christmas.
Sharron talks about the Christmas season.
Marion talks about keeping her class in order.
Naomi talks about her daily life in middle school.
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