Academic English

"The Christmas Gift"

Level: Topic: Speakers: Length:
difficult Christmas story man 03:07

Pre-Listening Exercise

What is the meaning of Christmas to those that celebrate this day? Use the Internet to answer these questions, or discuss them with other students. What do you think is the meaning of the title, "The Christmas Gift," in this story? What ideas come to your mind when you think of Christmas gifts?

Listening Exercise

A. Listen to the recording and answer the questions.

Ray Anderson witnessed ______.

He witnessed a horrendous accident which took place when the driver of a truck ran a red light and collided with the car of Sandra Jenkins.

Ray saved the baby by _____.

While others looked on in horror, Anderson jumped out of his vehicle and crawled into the car through the shattered rear window to try to free the infant. Anderson was miraculously able to pull the baby to safety.

What happened to Ray?

Anderson was miraculously able to pull the baby to safety. While the child came out of the accident virtually unscathed, Anderson suffered third degree burns over 80 percent of his body.

Who is Aaron?

Then, in between sobs, he went on to reveal that the man that pulled her from the flames was his own father he never knew.

That fateful Christmas Eve, Ray Anderson was _____.

Aaron's father was on a mission of love that fateful Christmas Eve in the process of distributing care packages to needy families in the area.

Post-Listening Exercise

  1. What was the Christmas "gift" Ray gave to others?
  2. What did the narrator mean when he said that Ray believed that "the best Christmas gifts came not from the gift received, but from those given, and that those acts of charity should remain anonymous"?
  3. Discuss the teachings of other religions or moral lessons when it comes to charity and kindness towards others.