Tuesday, December 24

Where is Santa Claus?





When you were a kid, did you ever send a letter to Santa Claus together with your wish list?



Did you ever hang a stocking on Christmas Eve so you would find toys and candy when you woke up?



Did your parents warn you to be a good child or else Santa Claus won’t give you any presents?



All the things I mentioned above are customs that kids follow around Christmas Day. And they surround the mysterious man called Santa Claus.




Santa Claus or simply “Santa” is a fat and cheerful man with a long white beard and wearing a red coat. He is a very important symbol of Christmas. He is always seen carrying a bag full of gifts for children.


all images courtesy of stock.xchng



Across different cultures, Santa is also known as:


(1) Saint Nicholas or Saint Nick

(2) Father Christmas

(3) Kris Kringle



Naughty or Nice?



Our modern beliefs of Santa have been popularized by the song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” This song became an instant hit as soon as it was sung on a radio show in November 1934.



If you take a look at the lyrics of the song, you will find many different ideas about Santa:



You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town

He's making a list,
Checking it twice;
Gonna find out who's naughty or nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town

He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake

With little tin horns and little toy drums
Rooty toot toots and rummy tum tums
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town

He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake
Goodness sake

You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming
Santa Claus is coming
Santa Claus is coming to town

(Coming to town)
Santa's a busy man he has no time to play
He's got millions of stockings to fill on Christmas day
(Santa Claus is coming to town)
(Coming to town)
(Santa Claus is coming to town)
(Coming to town)



According to the song, Santa Claus makes a long list of all the children in the world. The children are divided into two types: (1) naughty or (2) nice, depending on how they behaved during the whole year before Christmas.



Then he prepares all the gifts for all the good kids around the world in his toy workshop together with his elves.






This is an elf. 



Cool Elf also does volunteer work in Santa's toy workshop.



On the single night of Christmas Eve, Santa flies all over the world with the help of his reindeer who pull his sleigh to deliver all the presents.







How to Send Your Letter to Santa



  • via Canada


The Canadian Post Office uses a special postal code for letters to Santa Claus. His address is:



Santa Claus, North Pole, Canada, H0H 0H0




  • via Finland


One Santa Claus version in Finland is called Joulupukki, which means “Christmas goat.” Every year, he receives over 600, 000 letters from over 198 different countries.



The Joulupukki lives in Korvatunturi in Lapland. Lapland is the largest and northernmost region of Finland.


But the Santa Claus Main Post Office can be found exactly in the Arctic circle. His address is:



Santa Claus’ Main Post Office, Santa Claus Village,
FIN-96930 Arctic Circle




How to Find Santa



The NORAD (North American Air Defense Command) is a combined organization of the US and Canada. It provides airspace warning and defense for the whole of North America.



And every year during Christmas season, NORAD also launches its “Santa Tracker” to help the countless people excited to find Santa Claus.



According to NORAD, Santa usually begins his journey in the South Pacific Islands, first the Republic of Kiribati, then on to New Zealand and Australia.



The final country he visited last year was Hawaii.



Right now, because it’s still before Christmas, NORAD records Santa’s location in the North Pole. He is most probably preparing the gifts with his elf friends according to schedule.



This is the website where NORAD monitors Santa's progress.



Two days before Christmas, Santa's location is the North Pole. 



If you'd like to check Santa's location yourself, just visit NORAD's Santa Tracker website here: 





Of course it is on Christmas Eve, December 24, when the “Santa Tracker” works full force, following Santa as he flies across the world.





Hope You Learned Something!

Keep on learning !









Wednesday, December 18

Christmas Alphabet




Christmas is just around the corner. So let’s start our Christmas Special by studying a famous English Christmas song.



Today we’re going to learn the song titled "Christmas Alphabet," which was originally sung by British singer Dickie Valentine. 


all images courtesy of stock.xchng



When it comes to Christmas songs, “Christmas Alphabet” is special. It was the first ever song to hit the top charts during Christmas and which was also about Christmas.



This happened on November 25, 1955 in the UK. The song stayed for about seven weeks at the top.



If you check the lyrics of the song, you will find the words very catchy or easy to like. The song has a great melody. It is also an Acrostic on the word “Christmas” which is good for English learners.




What’s an Acrostic?



An Acrostic is a series of lines in which the letters, usually the first letter in each line, combine to form a special message. “Acrostic” comes from the French word acrostiche.



Acrostics are often used as a technique to help people remember information.



For example, if you take a look at our example poem below, at first you can’t notice anything special about it.



Elizabeth it is in vain you say
"Love not" — thou sayest it in so sweet a way:
In vain those words from thee or L.E.L.
Zantippe's talents had enforced so well:
Ah! if that language from thy heart arise,
Breath it less gently forth — and veil thine eyes.
Endymion, recollect, when Luna tried
To cure his love — was cured of all beside —
His follie — pride — and passion — for he died.



Now take a look at the first letters of each line and you will find the special message:



Elizabeth it is in vain you say
"Love not" — thou sayest it in so sweet a way:
In vain those words from thee or L.E.L.
Zantippe's talents had enforced so well:
Ah! if that language from thy heart arise,
Breath it less gently forth — and veil thine eyes.
Endymion, recollect, when Luna tried
To cure his love — was cured of all beside —
His follie — pride — and passion — for he died.



As you can see, the first letters of each line make up the name “Elizabeth.”




Christmas Alphabet



And now here are the lyrics of the song “Christmas Alphabet.” You can see how the letters spell out the word “Christmas.”



C is for the candy trimmed around the Christmas tree,

H is for the happiness with all the family,

R is for the reindeer prancing by the window pane,

I is for the icing on the cake as sweet as sugar cane,

S is for the stocking on the chimney wall,

T is for the toys beneath the trees so tall,

M is for the mistletoe where everyone is kissed,

A is for the angels who make up the christmas list,

S is for old Santa who makes every kid his pet,

Be good and he'll bring you everything in your Christmas Alphabet!



In addition, all the things mentioned inside the song remind us of the Christmas holiday. They are all symbols of Christmas.




Christmas Alphabet 

(with Pictures)



Now, let’s look at the words again together with some pictures.



C is for the candy trimmed around the Christmas tree,




H is for the happiness with all the family,





R is for the reindeer prancing by the window pane,





I is for the icing on the cake as sweet as sugar cane,





S is for the stocking on the chimney wall,





T is for the toys beneath the trees so tall,





M is for the mistletoe where everyone is kissed,





*Note: A mistletoe is a plant with short and broad leaves and a cluster of white berries. The mistletoe is a very common Christmas decoration because, according to tradition, if you find anyone standing under a mistletoe, you can get a free kiss.



A is for the angels who make up the christmas list,




S is for old Santa who makes every kid his pet,





Be good and he'll bring you everything in your Christmas Alphabet!





If you’d like to learn other Christmas songs, just click:














Hope You Learned Something!

Keep on learning !










Wednesday, December 11

Way Expressions





There are many expressions using the word “way.”



First of all, “way” means a road, path, or direction.


all images courtesy of stock.xchng unless otherwise stated



So when we are lost or when we don’t know where we are, we usually say:



Could you please tell me the way to the subway station?



Aside from this, it’s common for English-speakers to say:



I think I’m lost. I don’t know the way from here.

I don’t think this is the right way.

I can’t find my way back to the mall.

Excuse me. Which is the way out?



The word “way” can also mean the method that you use to do something or to get something.




Ex.


What’s the best way to get a lot of money?




Frank Sinatra and His Way



You are probably familiar with the famous American singer Frank Sinatra.


Copyright Capitol Records



Frank Sinatra had a rich career as a singer for at least 60 years (from 1935 to 1995). Sure, he is more popular among the older crowd, the older generation; but I’m certain that you’ve heard his song “My Way.”



My Way” is considered to be the most covered song in history. This means that this song has been performed or recorded by so many other artists.



The song tells the story of an old man who, being close to dying, thinks about his life. He is satisfied with the way (how) he dealt with all the difficulties of life. Because he has always acted according to his morality and principles. He has always been honest and strong about what he believed was right.



Five words in the lyrics keep on repeating and they are the most important part of the song:



I've lived a life that's full
I traveled each and ev'ry highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Regrets, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do , I saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course, each careful step along the highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
And through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way

I've loved, I've laughed and cried
I've had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way,
"Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way"



I did it my way.” These five words mean that the character in the song went his own way and didn’t follow other people’s paths. He made his own choices and lived his life in the way that he wanted to.



As you can see, “way” also means the manner or style that someone does something or that something happens.




No Way!



In spoken English, we also use “way” to express that we will definitely not do or allow a situation to happen.



For example,



A: Can I borrow some money?

B: No way!


(This is the short version. The complete sentence is “There’s no way that I will lend you money.”)


A: Are you attending your ex-girlfriend’s wedding?

B: No way!


(This is the short version. The complete sentence is “There’s no way that I am attending my ex-girlfriend’s wedding.”)



As you can feel, there is emphasis (a stronger stress) in the expression “No way” above.




All our previous examples are just a few of the many expressions that include the word “way.” Today, we won’t be able to learn all these expressions, so we will concentrate on only some other useful phrases.



Today we are going to learn:



(1) In the way

(2) On the way

(3) By the way

(4) In a way



1. In the Way



Way” can mean the space or area in front of a person. So if you say that someone or something is “in the way,” this means that they are blocking the space in front of you and you cannot move forward.


Ex.

There is another car in the way.



This sign means "Don't put your car in the way." 



There is a fallen tree in the way.


Can I move your bags? They’re in my way.



In the way” also means that someone or something is in the area that you are using. They are in the same place as you and they make it difficult for you to do something.



You’re in my way. ( = This can be impolite)

You’ll be in the way if you stand in the kitchen.

You’ll get in the way if you stay here.

I’m sorry. Am I in your way?



In this case, you can tell the other person:



Get out of the way.

Get out of my way.



But these expressions are too strong and direct so they can be rude. Instead, you can say simply:



Excuse me.




2. On the Way



This expression has many other different versions, but they all have similar meanings:


on the way

along the way

on someone’s way

on the way to + place

on the way out / home

etc.



All of them mean that you are travelling towards a place.


Ex.

She’s already on the way here.

Dad should be on the way to the office by now.

Hello? Yes, please wait. I’m on my way.



It can also mean “during the trip” or “while going from one place to another.”


Ex.

We ran out of gas on our way to the beach.

I bumped into an old friend on the way home.

We saw a terrible car accident on the way here.

Ok. I’ll drop by the supermarket along the way.




3. By the Way



By the way” is the easiest of all our phrases. It's used especially in spoken English. People say this when they want to introduce a new or extra comment into a conversation.



In other words, you can use “By the way” when you want to say something that isn’t related to the main subject that you were talking about before.


Ex.

By the way, I haven’t seen James lately.


By the way, I might be late for your party on Saturday.




4. In a Way



In a way” means one part of something that is true. Or, according to one opinion or point of view.



Imagine a diamond:





A diamond has many parts or faces. Something can also have many facts or features, and not all of them are true, good etc.



Here are other similar versions of the expression “in a way”:


in a way

in one way

in that way

in some ways

in many ways

in more ways than one

in every way


Ex.


In a way, I agree with you.

In one way, you’re right, I guess.

My parents never try to control me. They are great in that way.

The English language is limited in some ways.

Living together before getting married is right, in many ways.

The project was a great success, in more ways than one.

They are a good match in every way.





Hope You Learned Something!

Keep on learning !








Any Questions?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...