A2 Basic UK 109 Folder Collection
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- Hello everybody.
This is Jack from tofluency.com along with
- Kate.
- Today in this English lesson
this English conversation

we are going to talk about gifts,
and it was your idea to do this topic.
- Yes.
- How would you like to start?
- Sure, well, just a
little bit of background

about what's going on
in our life right now.

It is almost Thanksgiving,
which means that after Thanksgiving
is kind of the official beginning
of the Christmas season.
The day after Thanksgiving
is called Black Friday

because so many people go
shopping for Christmas gifts,

and there are sales,
and there's just all
sorts of mayhem and chaos,

but we have to get our gifts
a little bit early this year

because we're gonna spend the holiday
with your family in the UK.
- Yeah.
- We're doing something
a little bit different

for gift giving this year,
which is something that
we tried last year,

which was really fun.
- Yeah, it's Secret Santa,
and this is where a group
of people come together,

and everyone has to buy
a gift for someone else,

but you don't know who
is getting your gift,

your present.
- Yeah.
- It's like this lottery isn't it really
who you're going to get a gift for.
We did this last year when we
went on vacation to Florida,

and we spent Christmas in Florida.
Who did you have to buy a present for?
- For your mother.
- Right.
- I really enjoyed it because I feel like
I've gotten to know her so well,
and she has spent time at our house
helping us take care of the kids,
especially when they were newborns,
and it was just nice
to have an opportunity

to really think about her and think about
what she would like and buy
all of these presents for her.

- What did you get her?
- I got her a pair of cozy slippers,
a book about a nurse
getting trained in Yorkshire
around the same time that
your mom became a nurse,

so that was really neat,
and I think I got her some jewelry,
and there might have been
another thing or two,

but I just loved being able to
really concentrate on one person,
and maybe spend a little bit more money,
and time thinking about it
versus trying to think about
five, or 10, or 15 people,

you know, try to budget how
much to spend on each of them.

- It was helpful, too, because
everyone was traveling.

- Yeah.
- And my family came on the plane,
so they couldn't take a lot
of things back with them.

- But they did try to
bring a lot of presents,

especially for the kids
for Thomas and Emma

because they weren't
part of the gift draw,

but I so badly want to talk about
my Secret Santa from this year,
but it's still a secret.
- Yeah, that's right,
you can't tell everyone.

- 'Cause they could be watching.
- Yeah, if you're watching
this after Christmas

then check out the comments section
because we can leave a
comment telling people

what we got everyone.
- Yeah.
- Yeah, and last year, I'll
actually just show this.

Last year my mum got me,
and she got this.
- This is amazing.
- This is really cool.
- I don't know can you
see the logo in there?

That's the To Fluency
logo and that's Jack.

- Yeah,
so she had somebody make that,
an artist near where she
lives and it's really cool.

- Is that your favorite present
that you've gotten recently?

- I think so, yeah, well, we just decided
to do this conversation,
and I'm a little bit worried
that I'm going to forget
what people got me,

and the questions are going to come up.
- Jack, you remember all the
presents that I've gotten you.

- Of course, of course.
So I think it's evident that
you really like getting gifts.

- I do.
- And you like that whole process.
- I love it.
- This year you got real excited
about getting gifts again.

- Yeah, and about the Secret Santa draw
because you were the one person
who hadn't put their name in,
so I was texting you constantly
from just different rooms in the house
while we were home together,
and I was putting the baby down,
or doing some laundry or something,
and "Jack did you enter the drawing yet?
"Did you enter the drawing?"
- Yeah.
It got a little bit too much,
but it was my fault because I
should have done that earlier.

- Yeah.
- But then I couldn't find the email,
but anyway, we're gonna
do it again this year.

You're real excited about it.
- Yes.
- I, on the other hand, I'm excited,
but I like to leave
things to the last minute,

which means wait until
just before the deadline

to get something.
- But you do really amazing presents.
- Thank you.
- Yeah.
- Yeah, I think I'm, but I
need that immediate deadline

to give me the motivation and
the excitement to get gifts.

- Yeah, I'm the same
way when it's something

that I'm not really excited about,
but when it's something that
I'm really excited about

I can't do it fast enough,
and I just love going
shopping for other people

that I love, yeah.
- You do most of it online now, right?
- Yes, I do, and I like
shopping in person better

because I like to wander through a shop,
and, you know, I like to feel things,
and talk to people and to come up with it,
but that's just not so
practical with a kid.

- Yeah, it's a lot easier online.
- It is, yeah.
- I tend to do online,
although, I might do,

this year I might get
the gift in Manchester.

- Oh, yeah, that's a really good idea
because you could also discreetly ask
about the person that you have.
- You were going to say the name.
- And what the person might like.
This is gonna be dangerous.
- I know it is, it is.
- Do you like shopping for other people?
- I do.
- You do?

- Yeah, I do.
- This surprises me, go on.
- The problem is I like to get people,
and I like to receive
gifts that are practical.

- Right.
- You're more whimsical.
- I am.
- Which means?

- Anything that's like delightful
and a little bit strange,

and not necessarily practical I love that.
- What's an example of a whimsical gift?
- Just anything that's
not strictly necessary.

I feel like that tray
is on the border of something whimsical,
even though you really like it
because, I mean, it's
hand-painted, it's artistic,

it's not something that you need to have.
- Yeah.
- But also things that have
like imaginary quality
to them are interesting,

and I love this time of year
because it is so full of
things that are whimsical.

- Definitely.
- Like houses made out of cookies.
There's no other time of
year that you see that,

and I love it.
- Yeah, that an interesting thing.
I'll leave a link in the description,
so you know what we're talking about.
You can explain briefly
the houses made out of.

- Yeah, gingerbread houses.
- Gingerbread houses.
- We actually live in a
town here in Nashville

where they have a huge
gingerbread display,

and contest at a local hotel,
and it is just incredibly elaborate.
I think we went one year.
- I've never been.
- Maybe we should make it
a goal to go this year.

- Yeah, well, I just went
to the holiday parade,

which was yesterday, you were sick.
- I was, yeah, feeling under the weather.
- It was great it was so much fun.
The different floats
that go down the road,

marching bands play music,
and a lot of local businesses do this.
- That's amazing, and I feel
like we're at an age too

where our son is four and he's starting
to understand the excitement
and the anticipation.

Last year you could tell him
that something was happening,

and you'd say in two weeks
it's gonna be this holiday,

or this is gonna happen and he would think
that it would be happening
in the next minute,

so it was hard to build that anticipation,
and hard to kind of
explain the traditions,

and what would happen and this year
I think he's really gonna get it.
He and his friends have been
talking a lot about Santa Clause,
which is a big tradition
that we are gonna keep doing with him.
- Yeah, because
you just don't know if
you're going to do that,

but then it's impossible to ignore it.
In the UK people tend
to say Father Christmas.

- Okay.
- Yeah, over Santa Claus.
When did you realize and for
children that are watching

maybe turn this off.
- Don't watch, yeah.
- When did you realize
Santa Clause wasn't real?

- I think it was probably when I was
around six or seven maybe,
or I had a strong suspicion
that he wasn't real,

but I remember as a kid
coming to this realization,

and then thinking hold on a second.
I have a really good thing going here.
I just put out a plate of
cookies and a stocking,

and it gets filled with presents.
I don't need to tell my parents
that I don't believe in
Santa Clause anymore.

- Yeah, it was just a really cool thing.
- Yeah, this is a great thing.
I think that my mother
actually really struggled

to shop as Santa Clause
for us when we were little

because you know my mother
she is very practical.

- Yeah, she is.
- She's very practical
and so our stockings

would be filled with
like pencils and socks.

- We always had a
tangerine in our stocking.

- That's interesting.
- Yeah, always.
- That seems to classic and old-fashioned.
I feel like now there's a lot of pressure
to really go way over
the top like a tangerine

is not something that you go,
oh, wow, this is such a special treat.
- Going back to Santa I remember one year
my cousins always came to
our house for Christmas.

I knew Santa wasn't real, you know,
I was like I'm getting older now.
- How old were you?
- I can't remember, but
anyway, so my mum said,

"Don't ruin it for Patrick."
Patrick is my cousin who
is about two years younger,

so Patrick came in and I said to him like,
"So what's Santa going
to get you this year?"

And Patrick just said, "He's not real."
He was like, well, okay.
- My mom told this story.
I have cousins that are older than me
maybe like 10 years older or so.
It was actually at my parent's house
where my cousin Nathan
found out that Santa Claus wasn't real
because his family had always
done this elaborate thing

with a plate of cookies,
and Santa would leave a lot of crumbs,
and, you know, a smudge on the milk glass,
or something like that so my parents,
this was before they
had kids were so eager

to keep that magic alive,
and have this wonderful experience
where Santa Clause would
find him at their house

while they were visiting
and bring him presents,

so they set everything up all perfectly
with the crumbs on the plate,
and the milk exactly the
way that it should be

so that he would know
that Santa had found him,

and it was the same
Santa and Santa was real,

and Santa goes all over
the world and all of that,

and then we had a Golden Retriever
at the time named Misty.
Of course, a plate of cookie
crumbs and a milk glass

Misty came and cleaned it completely,
and the next morning
when my cousin woke up

he saw that there were presents
in the stocking from Santa,

but that the plate was completely clean,
and he burst into tears and said,
"I knew it, Santa wasn't real.
"It's not the same as
it would be at home."

The ironic thing was that
they had left all the crumbs,

and done all the work,
but Misty got to it.

- Wow.
- I know, I know.
- It's quite upsetting isn't it?
- It is, you just want them to have
that magical experience of believing that
the universe will just
bring them presents.

- Only if they're good though.
- Well, that's theoretically what happens.
I couldn't imagine
our son at four years' old
doing something so
naughty that we wouldn't.

- Well, you use it for leverage don't you?
- Yeah, you're like it's
Christmas season, listen.

- Exactly, yeah, and one
more story about Santa.

I remember being in the school playground,
and we were all talking about Santa,
and we were lining up to go inside.
There was one kid who just
said Santa wasn't real,

but no one believed him,
We were just arguing with him and saying,
of course he's real, of course he's real.
- How else would this happen?
- Yeah, but he said he overhead
his parents talking about it.
- Oh, now that we're
parents the pressure is on.

- Yeah, I know because you have
to keep up that whole thing.

Going back to gifts
when it was your birthday
did you prefer a gift or money?
- I think a gift every time because
I grew up in a way that
was a little bit sheltered.

I didn't have that many things
that I could practically spend money on,
and there was a lot of pressure,
too, to save the money.

- Right, yeah, that's interesting.
- I never felt that when I got money
that it was mine to spend,
so if I had a gift than it would be more.
- Yeah, I preferred the money, definitely.
- What did you like to do with it?
- Well, it depended on the age,
but at times it was
like wrestling stickers,

football stickers.
- I would not want any
of those things, no.

- No?
- Shockingly.

- You didn't get wrestling stickers.
- I didn't get wrestling stickers.
- Yeah, football stickers,
wrestling stickers.

I can't really remember what else I got.
I went through a stage
of saving money, too.

I used to like saving money.
My sister and I had
these little piggy banks,

which were actual piggies.
We got into a little bit of a debate,
an argument when we were older because
they came from the bank and
they became collector's items,

and they were worth a little bit of money,
so we used to argue
about who had which one.

I swear I had that little piggy,
but Rebecca thought that she had it.
Yeah, I went through a
stage of saving money,

and then looking back I
probably just spent it

on whatever was popular back then.
- At the time, you were very trendy.
- Computer games.
- Yeah, you were.

You were into all the trends.
- Yeah, I think looking back
you wouldn't call me trendy,

but that was what was popular at the time.
- Yeah, I mean, would you be
trendy by today's standards?

No, I feel like right now
people who were that age

would have, you know,
brightly colored hair,

and really fashionable kind
of cutting edge clothes,

and we definitely didn't have any of that.
I think that probably when I was younger
they just started coming
out with nail polish

that wasn't like red and pink,
and that was a really big deal,
and everybody wanted to
have blue nail polish

that was like the trendiest thing
that you could possibly have.
I actually sent my dad
to get "cool" nail polish

for a friend's birthday party,
and he got like a brown color,
and it was so disappointing
because it's like, here have
this nail polish it's so cool,

but it was brown,
and her big brother made fun of me.
- I was thinking about the
color brown the other day

because no one says, oh,
brown's my favorite color.

Wrapping gifts.
- Yes.
- Wow, can you sense the excitement?
I don't like wrapping presents.
I used to love it, I used to love it,
but now I just don't like
doing it, but you really.

- I don't really like
wrapping gifts either.

Just kidding, I love it.
- Yeah, you do.
- I do, yeah.
- What is the process for you
of having a present and
giving it to someone?

What do you do to that present?
- To that present?
- To that gift or present?
- What do I do to it?
I have a closet and a shelf
with wrapping paper as you know.

The supplies dwindled
down a lot when we moved,

so we had to give some presents
that were not ideally
wrapped for the last year,

you know, I would like
wrap them up in newspaper

like an old paper bag,
but that is changing.

We're back to where we should be
so I have a book of patterned paper,
and I have the rolls of wrapping paper.
I have gift bags, I have
sparkly tissue paper,

I have bows, so it just depends
on the shape of the present.

A lot of times we go with the gift bag
because it's easier,
but there's something very pleasing
about perfectly wrapping something
that's rectangular and
folding in the edges.

- Yeah.
That type of thing I do like.
- You do?
- Well, tolerate.
I think when it comes down to
when you say putting
tissue paper in as well,

wrapping it with a ribbon,
and then attaching the
card in the right way

I just get it wrong every time,
therefore, I don't really like doing it.
- There is this really
funny scene in Love Actually

where Rowan Atkinson is
wrapping up a present

in the department store,
and he's sprinkling in confetti.
It's really awkward because the character
doesn't want him to be spending time
he's trying to do it subtly
because he shouldn't
be buying this present,

and instead he's just going all out.
I feel like that is me every time
that we're late to go to a birthday party,
and I want to wrap the present,
and you're saying, "Come on let's go."
- Yeah, definitely.
- And I'm throwing in
glitter and tissue paper,

and trying to find the perfect thing,
and the right card,
but yeah, I don't know,

it does get discouraging
sometimes because you know

it's all just gonna go
in the trash, but, yeah.

- Cool, shall we wrap it up?
- Oh, yeah, sure, like I could wrap it up?
- Okay, well, we've talk
about a lot in this one.

- Yeah, and I could still
talk about this all day.

- Yeah, so I was making
mental notes throughout,

but I'm gonna go through this video,
and leave all the words and
phrases that we used below.

You'll find all those words,
and phrases in the description,
and, oh, time for Kate's question.
- Yes, and you might have some too.
My question is
hold on, let me think,
what is your favorite gift
that you have given or received,
and do you have any interesting
holiday traditions where you are?
- Very cool, yeah, so a favorite gift
that you have given someone or received,
and holiday traditions.
- Yeah.
- Fantastic, okay, well, thank
you so much for watching.

If you have enjoyed this
then please like and share,

and also be sure to check out my free book
The 5-Step Plan for English Fluency.
- There's also something
that I would like to mention

because it has been so amazing.
Sometimes you'll get presents from people
who are in your community,
or who you've worked with
through your programs.

It just means so much to us.
We're not asking for presents.
Please don't feel that
you have to send anything,

but for the people who have
taken the time and effort

to send something thoughtful
like that's really touched
our hearts in a big way.

- Oh, definitely, yeah, yeah,
well, good, okay, bye for now.

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Advanced English Conversation Lesson #8: Gifts (learn real English w/ subtitles)

109 Folder Collection
洪子雯 published on June 13, 2019
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