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Christmas Scene 1

Ashlie and Stephen are getting ready for Christmas. They need to buy presents and decorate the tree, but there's still time for a bit of ice-skating...

Do the Preparation task first. Then watch the video. Next go to the Tasks and do the activities. If you need help, you can read the Transcript at any time.


Before you watch

Think about the following questions:

  • What do you know about British Christmas traditions?
  • What kinds of presents do people buy each other for Christmas?
  • What decorations do people put on a Christmas tree?

Now watch as Ashlie and Stephen do some last-minute shopping...


Ashlie: Oh hi, Stephen. You made it then!

Stephen: Hi, Ashlie, I thought we were going Christmas shopping, not ice-skating.

Ashlie: Oh, we are. But I saw the rink and ice-skating is so much fun. It’s almost as much fun as shopping!

Stephen: It’s Christmas Eve and this is the Tower of London Ice Rink. Ashlie and I are supposed to be doing some last-minute Christmas shopping.

Ashlie: We’re cooking dinner for the family this year. They’re coming to Stephen’s to give our mum a rest.

Stephen: And we’ve still got lots of presents to buy. So you shouldn’t be messing around on the ice.

Ashlie: Oh come on, Stephen. Come and have a go. What’s wrong with you? Look watch me - I can go backwards!

Stephen: Stop showing off. Alright, I’ll come on, but just for five minutes - no more.


Ashlie: Come on then. Take my hand. That’s it and we just go in a big circle… like this…

Stephen: It’s not as difficult as it looks. I think I’m better than you. It’s all about keeping your balance.

Ashlie: Stephen, you’re going in the wrong direction.

Ashlie: Stephen! Watch out!

Stephen: Oh, sorry!


Stephen: Oh, I love Christmas, Ash. It’s so exciting.

Ashlie: I know. All the presents, the wonderful food. I can’t wait.

Stephen: Wow, look at these. They’re great. Oh, I love these. Look, it’s snowing! Let’s get some Christmas decorations. These are so cool.

Ashlie: Well, maybe we could get something for the tree. What about some tinsel? I want the tree to look really tasteful and stylish. These are nice.

Stephen: Those are really boring. What we need is lots of different colours to make the tree look really beautiful.

Ashlie: Mmm, well, I’m not sure. I think the tree will look better with just a few decorations.

Stephen: No way! A Christmas tree is meant to be bright and colourful. Oh come on, Ash, let me choose some Christmas decorations.

Ashlie: Well, I suppose so. As long as you don’t get too much. Listen, I want to go and buy your present now, but it’s a secret. So I will see you later.

Stephen: Presents - of course. OK. Bye!

Ashlie: Bye!


Stephen: There... perfect!

Ashlie: Stephen! What have you done? What has happened to the Christmas tree?

Stephen: It looks so much better now, doesn’t it? All bright and Christmassy. It’s as big as the tree Mum and Dad had last year but it looks even better.

Ashlie: But I wanted the tree to be stylish and beautiful. Now it looks like a kid’s decorated it!

Stephen: Do you think we should add some more of these baubles?

Ashlie: No, I really don’t. Just don’t put anything else on the Christmas tree, OK? Come on, let’s hang up our stockings.

Stephen: OK. They look great. And look, I’ve put out some mince pies for when Father Christmas comes down the chimney and some carrots for the reindeer.

Ashlie: Ah, that is sweet of you. Hmm, mince pies! They do look good. I’m starving. I suppose Father Christmas won’t mind if I have one.

Stephen: Maybe one or two won't matter.


Language level

Intermediate: B1
Upper intermediate: B2


Thank you very much. I cought the meaning. Now the context is clear to me. You really helped me. We appreciate your work.

hi Team!
your lesson is very great.
thanks so much!

Hi Team,
I have a question not related this topic, I've seen a sentences like "a factor of two or more". Could you explain the meaning, please? Thanks

Hello alangkien,

Usually 'a factor of two' means either 'multiplied by two' or 'divided by two'. Does that make in the context you've seen this expression? You can see more about this use of the word 'factor' in this Cambridge Dictionary entry.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

i think every nation has their occasion which they celebrate with , religious or nationality .

Hi Team.
Stephen : Ashlie and I are supposed to be doing some last minute Christmas shopping.
If I change "to be doing" into "to do",
Is it allowed in the rule of grammatical?
If yes, what is the difference between "to be doing" and "to do" in the sentence?
Would you like to explain, please?
Thank you.

Hi Nizam Balinese,

Both 'to do' and 'to be doing' are possible, grammatically speaking.

If we say '...are supposed to be doing...' then we mean that we should be in the middle of doing it at the moment of speaking. The time reference is 'now' for both 'supposed' and 'doing', in the sense of the moment of speaking.

If we say '...are supposed to do...' then we mean that we need to do this and have not done it yet. The time reference is 'now' for 'supposed' and the future for 'do'.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team