Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Christmas stories. And the winner is…

December 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Congratulations to all the students who participated in the Christmas story competition. You made it very hard for the judges to reach a veredict. However, in the end they made a choice based upon originality as well as quality of language and narrative style. And the winner was…Jordi Bermejo with an accomplished story with echoes of The Sopranos.

You can read this and some of the other shortlisted stories by clicking here

Happy reading!

Categories: Christmas, Magazine

Jokes from the Christmas crackers

December 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Christmas crackers or bon-bons are an integral part of Christmas celebrations in the UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and other Commonwealth countries as well as countries of the former Soviet Union (where it is called “хлопушка”). A cracker consists of a cardboard tube wrapped in a brightly decorated twist of paper, making it resemble an oversized sweet-wrapper. The cracker is pulled by two people, and, much in the manner of a wishbone, the cracker splits unevenly. The split is accompanied by a small bang produced by the effect of friction on a chemically impregnated card strip (similar to that used in a cap gun).

In one version of the tradition the person with the larger portion of cracker empties the contents from the tube and keeps them. In another each person will have their own cracker and will keep its contents regardless of whose end they were in. Typically these contents are a coloured paper hat or crown; a small toy or other trinket and a motto, a joke or piece of trivia on a small strip of paper. Crackers are often pulled before or after Christmas dinners or at parties.

Enjoy the following jokes, remember most of them are made of puns.

Question: What’s red and white and black all over?
Answer: Santa Claus after he slid down the chimney.

Really funny christmas riddles

Q. Why was Santa’s little helper depressed?
A. Because he had low ‘elf‘ esteem.

Q. Why did the man get the sack from the orange juice factory?
A. Because he couldn’t concentrate.

Q. How do Snowman travel around?
A. By riding an icicle.

Q. Where do Snow-women like to dance?
A. At Snowballs.

Q. What happened when Guy ate the Christmas decorations?
A. He went down with tinsel-itis.

Q.Do you know the joke about the butter?

A.I’m not going to tell because you’ll spread it around.

Q.What did the sea say to the sand?

A.Nothing, he just waved.

Q.What do you get if you cross a stereo with a refrigerator?

A.Cool music

Q.What do you call someone who makes clothes for rabbits?

A.A hare dresser.

Q.On which sid do chickens have most feathers?

A.On the outside.

Q.How did the human cannonball lose his job?

A.He got fired.

Q.Where do fish get their petrol?


Q.What is the biggest ant?

A.The elephant.

Q.What should a prizefighter drink?

A.A punch.

Q.What was a bed but does not sleep, and a mouth but does not speak?

A. A river

Q.Why don’t ducks tell jokes when they are flying?

A.Because they would quack up.

Categories: Christmas

Christmas poems

December 16, 2009 Leave a comment

We bring you here two Christmas poems , from very different but well known and much loved poets: Wendy Cope and TS Eliot

Wendy Cope

Cope was born in Kent and educated in London. Following her graduation from St Hilda’s College, Cope spent fifteen years as a primary-school teacher. In 1981, she became Arts and Reviews editor for the magazine, Contact. Five years later she became a freelance writer and was a television critic for The Spectator magazine until 1990.

Three books of her poetry have been published, Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis in 1986, Serious Concerns in 1992 and If I Don’t Know in 2001. She has also edited several anthologies of comic verse Despite her slight output, her books have sold well and she has attracted a popular following with her lighthearted, often comical poetry, as well as achieving literary credibility winning two awards and making an award shortlist over a fourteen year period.

She has a keen eye for the everyday, mundane aspects of English life, especially the desires, frustrations, hopes, confusions and emotions in intimate relationships

In her book If I Don’t Know she wrote the following Christmas poem. Click here to listen to her recite the poem This Christmas life

Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965) was born in St. Louis, Missouri, of an old New England family. He was educated at Harvard and did graduate work in philosophy at the Sorbonne, Harvard, and Merton College, Oxford. He settled in England, where he was for a time a schoolmaster and a bank clerk, and eventually literary editor for the publishing house Faber & Faber, of which he later became a director. He founded and, during the seventeen years of its publication (1922-1939), edited the exclusive and influential literary journal Criterion. In 1927, Eliot became a British citizen and about the same time entered the Anglican Church.

Eliot has been one of the most daring innovators of twentieth-century poetry. Never compromising either with the public or indeed with language itself, he has followed his belief that poetry should aim at a representation of the complexities of modern civilization in language and that such representation necessarily leads to difficult poetry. Despite this difficulty his influence on modern poetic diction has been immense. Eliot’s poetry from Prufrock (1917) to the Four Quartets (1943) reflects the development of a Christian writer: the early work, especially The Waste Land (1922), is essentially negative, the expression of that horror from which the search for a higher world arises.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Order of Merit  in 1948.

Click here to listen to TS Eliot recite the poem Journey of the Magi

W hope you like them!

Categories: Christmas

An essay to read and one to write for Christmas

December 15, 2009 1 comment

Here is an example of balanced essay. Please read it and fill in the gaps with the words you think most appropriate. Pay attention to the structure and the linking words Read more…

Categories: 3. Lifestyles, Christmas

Christmas Cinema Homework

December 15, 2009 Leave a comment


Dear students,

As you have been remarkably good this year we feel quite generous and will set a light homework for the Christmas period.

If there was a film that you associate to Spanish TV in this season it has to be….

La Gran Familia (1962). For those of you who are too young to remember, this classic black and white film tells the story of a modest big family in Madrid with loads of endearing situations and small family conflicts that get magically solved with the good will of the season. With easily recognisable characters and realistic situations, it still made me cry every time  Chencho got lost in the Christmas crowds of Madrid.

Well, it seems that it is a universally recognised feeling because, in the other side of the Atlantic, the Americans made a film that became the classic of every Christmas and it is the one  all the TV channels broadcast around this time of the year It’s a wonderful life (1942)

Have you already seen it? If you haven’t watched it yet, this is your chance. Make yourselves cozy, with a steaming mug of hot cocoa and a packet of Kleenex and enjoy

I don’t want to spoil any of this great classic for you so I won’t reveal any of the plot. Just watch and let the Christmas spirit invade your home.  Merry Christmas!