842 Fred's Gifts

Fred talks about the gift giving tradition of his family during the holidays.


Anja: So, Fred, tell me, how is it on Christmas? Who do you give gifts to in Canada?

Fred: Well, Anja, personally I prefer to receive gifts. That's always funner. Yeah, well, of course, we give gifts and we receive gifts.

Anja: Oh, yeah. So the gifts, how are they? Are they really expensive or...?

Fred: Good question. Well, I don't know. It depends on who you're giving the gift to, and it also depends on, you know, how many gifts you have to buy.

Anja: Oh, so, who exactly are you buying gifts for? Only the really.... people that are really close to you?

Fred: Well, yes, I would say that in my case I have a large family.

Anja: How many are you?

Fred: We are six siblings: six brothers and sisters and plus my parents and both my grandparents are still alive, and aunts and cousins and so a very big family, and so what we do is we exchange gifts. So we buy a small gift, 45 dollars, and then we play a small game where we exchange that gift amongst each other, so we don't have to buy gifts to everybody.

Anja: Oh, that's quite nice, so it won't get too expensive, right?

Fred: It won't but, personally, I like to buy gifts for my mother or my father and especially my grandmother and grandfather. It's very important, and so I enjoy doing the shopping for it.

Anja: Oh, you do like shopping?

Fred: For Christmas it's something different.

Anja: It's really difficult on Christmas, right? Usually, the shops are really packed and there's so many people. It's really stressful, isn't it?

Fred: Yeah, but I like that stress.

Anja: Oh, you do?

Fred: Yeah, I love it.

Anja: Oh, wow. I think you are the only one.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

people close (to you)


Do you buy gifts only for people who are close to you?

'People close to you' are friends and family or people that you care about.  Notice the following:

  1. Always take care of the people close to you.
  2. I buy Christmas gifts for people close to me.

large family


In my case, I have a large family.

The meaning of a large family changes within different cultures, but these days, a 'large family' would include about five or more children.  Notice the following:

  1. I come from a large family.
  2. In my country, large families are rare.

exchange gifts


We buy a small present, and we exchange gifts.

When we 'exchange gifts,' we give someone a gift and they give us one in return.  Notice the following:

  1. Each year the office staff exchange gifts.
  2. Our family usually exchange gifts on Christmas Eve.



During Christmas, the shops are really packed.

'Packed' means very crowded.  Notice the following:

  1. The place was packed.
  2. The band played to a packed house.



I actually like that kind of stress.

We usually feel 'stress' when we are very worried about something or when we feel a lot of pressure.  Notice the following:

  1. The stress of my job is killing me.
  2. I always feel a lot of stress before an exam.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

Keep Listening

Below are some more great lessons!

Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
close • large family • exchange
packed • stress
  1. The of planning this party is making her crazy.
  2. We should phone numbers.
  3. The bar was with people watching the game.
  4. I stay in contact with my friends by email when I'm away.
  5. They have such a that they have to drive two cars.