Views #1473 | Intermediate (B1)

Hot and Cold Christmas

Megen compares Christmas in cold and warm climates.

Todd: So Megen, we are both teachers, English teachers in Japan, and we both come from countries that have Christmas, but Christmas is so different in Japan than in our home countries, so I though we would talk about that.

Megen: Yeah, absolutely. It's particularly different to Australia because we have ... we have it in summer.

Todd: Oh, that's right. So it's a beautiful summer holiday, right?

Megen: It is, though when it get hotter here in Japan, I start to feel that it's getting into Christmas season.

Todd: Oh, right! So summer is Christmas.

Megen: Yes, yeah.

Todd: That's so cool. Do you still do the Christmas tree and the gifts under the tree?

Megen: We do and we have a lot of the same Christmas traditions, but the food is pretty different. We eat a lot of fresh fruits, and we have like fresh prawns. I guess you might call them shrimps.

Todd: Right, no we call them prawns too. Prawns or shrimp. Wow! That's interesting. You know, it's cool that you brought up food because we're both in Japan and I think it's very interesting that in Japan the Christmas dinner is fried chicken.

Megen: Yeah! I can't imagine eating KFC or any kind of chicken for Christmas.

Todd: Now did you know about this before you came to Japan?

Megen: I didn't actually. I was shocked when I heard about it.

Todd: Yeah, I didn't believe it at first, and then when I came to Japan, I saw the long lines outside KFC, and I thought, wow, this really is a thing. And now in Japan, not only do they have KFC chicken, but everywhere. So the supermarkets make fried chicken. The convenience stores have fried chicken. Other hamburger stores have fried chicken, all just for Christmas.

Megen: Yeah, yes, I don't think we usually eat chicken. Maybe some families would eat roast chicken, but usually we eat cold meats.

Todd: Oh, right, so Australia is fresh fruit, shrimp, and cold meats.

Megen: Yeah, we have a few Australian desserts that I haven't seen in any other countries, but I think in Australia there's a lot of variety though, so my family in particular, that's what we eat, but I think every family is different. How about in America?

Todd: Ah, in America it's very close to Thanksgiving, so usually you have a big bird, so you have turkey or chicken or ham. Ham is a big one. So you might have baked ham. But you have lots of sweets, lots of cakes, Christmas cakes, pies, cookies. Things like that. So everybody gains a lot of weight. Do you eat a lot of sweets for Christmas in Australia?

Megen: Well, I imagine they eat more baked goods in America, but we eat a lot of cold, like parfait, kind of desserts. With a mix of like sponge cake and jelly and cream, and we do eat cookies and different like chocolate sweets, and yeah, I think we do some baking but, yeah, not so much pies.

Todd: So in Australia because it's so warm, do you spend the day at the beach?

Megen: We do! Yeah, a lot of people have pools. Their own pools, so they will go swimming in their backyard, or they'll go to the beach, or play cricket outside.

Todd: That's great! So do you barbecue? Is Barbecue a common way?

Megen: Yeah! Especially for Christmas. It's really great to be outside. And there are barbecues you can use near the beach or in the parks, so a lot of people go outside and mingle with the locals. It's great.

Todd: Oh, that's fantastic. So in the Northern Hemisphere, Christmas is often associated with snow, so you have the snowman and thinks like that. Do you have those types of decorations in Australia?

Megen: We do! Although we don't have any snow, we still have the snow decoration. And usually Santa Claus still wears the long sleeve winter clothing, although we do have our own version of Santa Claus, that wears singlets and shorts.

Todd: That's nice. So you've lived in a country with a warm Christmas, and a country with a cold Christmas. Which do you prefer?

Megen: Well, I think because I've spend so many Christmases in Australia, that I still feel like it's Christmas when it gets warmer, and when I see things like peaches and watermelon in season I want to celebrate Christmas.

Todd: That's so cool.

Megen: Do you want to experience a Christmas in Australia?

Todd: I do. I do! That is definitely on my bucket list now, to have a warm weather Christmas.

Megen: It would be so strange for you!

Answer these questions about the interview.
Audio Lessons about Phrases and Vocabulary

I guess you might


I guess you might call them shrimp.

The phrase, 'I guess you might' shows that the speaker is guessing about something. It is similar to 'maybe.' Notice the following:

  1. I guess you might have to work
  2. I guess you might be mad at me.

bring up


It's cool that you brought up food.

Here to bring something up means to mention it in discussion. Notice the following:

  1. He always brings up good points in the meetings.
  2. She brought up the fact that we did not get paid.

can't imagine


I can't imagine eating KFC

People use the phrase 'I can't imagine' to show they are surprised by something they cannot relate to. Notice the following:

  1. I can't imagine how must feel.
  2. I can't imagine working on Sunday.

is a thing


this really is a thing.

When something 'is a thing' that means something which seems unlikely really exists. Notice the following:

  1. Eating corn on ice-cream is a thing in Thailand.
  2. Taking selfies is mainly a thing for young, attractive people.



People mingle with the locals.

Here, mingle means to mix among people, and not to just talk with the same people. Notice the following:

  1. I like to mingle at parties.
  2. The teacher wanted the students to mingle.

bucket list


That is definitely on my bucket list now

A bucket list is a list of things you want to do in your life. Notice the following:

  1. Climbing Mt Everest is on my bucket list.
  2. Skydiving is on my bucket list.

Vocabulary Quiz

bring up • can't imagine • is a thing
mingle • bucket list
  1. During romantic dates, splitting the bill now.
  2. She started ticking off her .
  3. I prioritizing something over my family.
  4. Sorry, but I have to that funniest moment with you.
  5. Even if you don't know how to , you should at least try.

Related Video - One Minute English

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Video 1473
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1475 Megen
1475 Holidays for Fun
Australia Day and Valentine's Day
1474 Megen
1474 Adopting Holidays
Making a holiday a new tradition
1473 Megen
1473 Hot and Cold Christmas
Christmas is different climates.
1472 Aimee
1472 Giving Gifts
The hassle of buying presents.
1471 Aimee
1471 Black Friday
Learn about this popular shopping day.

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Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
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