OET Skills (Rephrasing) “Christmas Cheer”

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OET Skills (Rephrasing) “Christmas Cheer”

Practice your skills in rephrasing and restating. Skills needed for the OET Listening

Most of us haven’t believed in Santa Claus for a very long time. Yet every December, we decorate the Christmas tree, shop for gifts, sing along to Christmas songs, watch classic holiday films, and put on that once-a-year Christmas outfit. We get into the festive mood which is rather more magical than our regular mood the rest of the year.

So what is it about Christmas that keeps attracting us? Is there some formula to “Christmas cheer”?

Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling.” — Edna Ferber and ).

A 2015 Denmark study actually found evidence of Christmas cheer in physiologic brain activity. The functional MRI scans of a small group of persons who were shown Christmas and non-Christmas images actually observed increased activity when shown the Christmas themed ones. There was no specific centre or circuit pinpointing a particular part of the brain, but researchers definitely “saw Christmas cheer” in the 20 test subjects (Anders Hougaard, Ulrich Lindberg et al.). More modern thinking about human emotion is rather that the brain processes information about the environment and past experiences and the combination of these is what we feel and label as “emotion” (). In any case, it is a powerful influence on our behavior. Sociologist Émile Durkheim describes “collective effervescence”, the larger feeling we get when joining in social activities as part of a bigger group, giving in to the urge to perform wider acts of generosity and charity (Nilufar Ahmed). We also put great effort into being with loved ones.

At Christmas, all roads lead home.” – Marjorie Holmes

Making connections with others is at the core of human existence (), and at Christmas, often more than at other times in the year, we rush to reunite with family.

Psychological research on interpersonal relationships suggests that this behavior has an overall positive impact on the human psyche [Ibid]. In essence, if holidays are celebrated in a collective and positive way, they tend to be more memorable, even more fun and cheerful, likely because we are with those we love and are filled with a sense of “being home”, recalling a time when we felt secure and cared for, which in turn helps in confirming our identity.

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder

Holidays like Christmas are a “special season” even for adults. Children go wild with excitement at the idea of finding a long-awaited bike under the tree (that truly happens!) or a new Lego set or maybe a cute kitten? For adults, the shining eyes of children and their bouncing “thank-yous” are worth the effort because no child should be unhappy at Christmas! And in recreating Christmas for them, parents are often reliving their own childhoods, along with the memories and feelings that went with them.

Christmas is a tonic for our souls. It moves us to think of others rather than of ourselves. It directs our thoughts to giving.” ― B.C. Forbes

We all like getting presents. Many enjoy giving presents equally, if not more. Receiving gifts is important for us to feel valued. And the act of gift-giving, especially to those in need, exercises goodwill, kindness, caring, and compassion, improving the day, or even life, of someone else.

So perhaps “Christmas cheer” isn’t only about marketing campaigns cashing in on our need to spend more! Perhaps there is a sound reason to hold onto the innocence of childhood Christmas cheer well into adulthood, and to pass it on to the next generation.

 

Help in preparing for OET

Quiz: Listen to the song “Mary Did You Know” sang by Savanna and Mat Shaw to do the task:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_cFk7zBGik

Find synonyms (one word ONLY) to the highlighted words:

Mary, did you know
That your Baby Boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know
That your Baby Boy would come to rescue ___________ our sons and daughters?
Did you know
That your Baby Boy has come to make you new?
This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you

Mary, did you know
That your Baby Boy will give sight to a sightless ________________ man?
Mary, did you know
That your Baby Boy will calm the storm with His hand?
Did you know
That your Baby Boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little Baby you kissed the face of God?

Oh Mary did you know… Ooh Ooh Ooh

The blind will see
The with hearing impairment _______________ will hear
The not alive ____________ will live again
The walking handicap _______________ will leap
The dumb will speak
The praises of The Lamb

Mary, did you know
That your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know
That your Baby Boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know
That your Baby Boy is heaven’s excellent ___________________ Lamb?
The sleeping Child you’re holding is the great “I am”

Answers: save, blind, deaf, dead, lame, perfect

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