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Ho Ho Ho! Holidays are here! Let’s talk about the Childhood memories, Traditional Food and International Traditions in English

Welcome to the Conversation Club by MPEC

The Christmas holidays can be a great time to speak using the past tense, or the (DREADED!) forms like ‘used to’ and even ‘would.’ At MPEC, we know that the best way to learn grammatical rules is not through studying, but in a practical and real-life context. For this reason, the Christmas questions we are offering for today’s conversation session come with a dash of ‘English Grammar in Use’. Are you ready?

Prepared for you by: My Personal English Coach

Idioms To Talk About The Past

  1. Down Memory Lane 🛣️
    • Definition: Recalling or revisiting past events or experiences.
    • Example in italics: Let’s take a walk down memory lane and talk about our favourite childhood Christmas traditions.
  2. Once in a Blue Moon 🌕
    • Definition: Something that occurs very rarely.
    • Example in italics: I used to see snow on Christmas once in a blue moon when I was a kid.
  3. The Good Old Days 📅
    • Definition: A nostalgic reference to a time considered better or simpler in the past.
    • Example in italics: Ah, the good old days when Christmas meant two weeks off school and endless sweets.
  4. Blast from the Past ⏳
    • Definition: Something that suddenly and strongly makes you remember a previous time in your life.
    • Example in italics: Hearing that Christmas song is a real blast from the past.
  5. Turn Back the Clock ⏰
    • Definition: To return to a time in the past when things were better or simpler.
    • Example in italics: I wish I could turn back the clock to when the whole family gathered for Christmas

Round 1 – Let’s Warm Up

  1. What’s your earliest memory of Christmas, and what makes it so special?
  2. Can you share a funny or heartwarming Christmas story from your childhood?
  3. Do you have a favourite traditional Christmas dish that you look forward to each year?
  4. How do you usually celebrate Christmas? Is it a big family affair or a low-key event?

How to answer using Past Tense

  • My earliest memory of Christmas was when…
  • Last year, we celebrated Christmas by…
  • I tried a unique Christmas dish last year called
  • My family arranged a surprise Christmas party for me in…
  • The most memorable gift I received was…

Round 2: Let’s Explore it!

  1. How has the way you celebrate Christmas changed as you’ve grown older?
  2. Are there any Christmas foods that you absolutely can’t stand?
  3. How do you feel about Christmas music? Do you have a go-to Christmas song?
  4. Do you have any Christmas traditions that are unique to your family or region?

How to answer with ‘used to’?

  • We used to go carolling around the neighbourhood every Christmas Eve.
  • My family used to cook a specific dish every Christmas.
  • I used to believe in Santa Claus until…
  • We used to have a fake Christmas tree, but…
  • My cousins and I used to perform a little skit for the family each year.

Last but not least… Round 3!

  1. What are some Christmas traditions from around the world that you find fascinating or would like to incorporate into your own celebrations?
  2. How do you handle gift-giving during the Christmas season? Any tips for picking the perfect gift?
  3. What does the holiday season mean to you, beyond the festivities and gifts?

How to answer with ‘would’?

  • Every Christmas morning, we would open presents together as a family.
  • My mother would always make her special Christmas pudding.
  • We would attend midnight mass every Christmas Eve.
  • My grandparents would tell us stories of how they celebrated Christmas in their youth.
  • I would spend hours decorating the Christmas tree with my siblings.

Remember – there is always more! Here is your Follow Up video:

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#MPEC #DownMemoryLane #OnceInABlueMoon #TheGoodOldDays #BlastFromThePast #TurnBackTheClock #EnglishLearning #ChristmasMemories #ChildhoodNostalgia #SpeakingInEnglish #ConversationClub #LearnEnglishWithMPEC