Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hilarious Xmas Traditions

Tim Flowers is an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher based in the capital city of one of the baltic states. He is 42 years old. His previous job was working for the Post Office (main sorting office - as a superintendent) and this excellent and relevant background has given him a good grasp of the fundamentals of the English language, and the art of teaching it to others. He hails, as he likes to say, from Northamptonshire in England, a very glamorous part of the world indeed, and so is not at all out of place mingling with the glitterati of the Old Town where he hangs out on a Friday or Saturday night. He likes beer.
It's Christmas time, mistletoe and wine and so I thought that I'd ensure that I was worth every last penny of the fairly sizeable amount that the students have spent on my 'lessons' by finishing off term with a list of unusual, and really very amusing, xmas traditions from around the world. They must be true because I found the list on one of my colleague's desk, which was I think a copy of a copy of a copy of something from a now-defunct ESL website called "English language drop in shop" or something like that, I dunno I've never actually used the internet to put together teaching materials; my genius lies within the confines of my own cerebral cortex, ever able to come up with a dazzling array of explanations, games and anecdotes to keep them coming back for more (at least until the end of the course).
Anyway, here they are, brace yourself:
  • In Luxembourg, children must skip anti-clockwise around an old, dead cat-sock (whatever that may be) before they can receive their present.
  • Christmas is actually celebrated on 14th June in Kiribati. This is because it is in the Southern Hemisphere and, due to time zone differences, the day corresponds with 25th December in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • A traditional Christmas dinner in England consists of turkey, cranberry sauce and, titter, mince pies, which aren't really pies at all, more like something like a giant jaffa cake.
  • In Scotland, Christmas is called "Hogmanay" and culminates in the ritual slaughter of a pretend haggis.
  • Instead of Father Christmas, children in Armenia can look forward to their presents being delivered by a spotty youth on a BMX.
  • Due to a bye-law dating back to the regime of Oliver Cromwell, which has somehow been overlooked and remains on the statute book, the residents of Twickledrie in Southern Scotland are forbidden to celebrate Christmas.
  • In Latvia, it is customary to drink Riga Balzams, an unholy concoction sold in strange-looking bottles, with holly sprigs.

So, looks like the final lesson's gonna be a laugh a minute.

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