Michelle's independent resources for ESL Students at Vancouver Community College

This is a Canadian ESL blog for Intermediate and Advanced Students who want to learn and improve their English. Each PAGE above contains thousands of free English lessons, tutorials and practice exercises to help you learn and improve your English grammar, reading, listening, pronunciation, speaking, writing and editing. Some of the resources are Canadian. Others are from around the world.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

ESL Christmas: Charlie Brown Style

Christmas would not be Christmas in North America if you didn't watch a Charlie Brown Christmas

 Almost every person under the age of 50 has watched this Christmas special at least once . Many of us have watched it 20 or 30 times. 

In fact, one of the most popular English idioms about Christmas comes from this specific Christmas animation. 

When people say they bought, or prefer a "Charlie Brown tree" for Christmas, they are referring to a a a  Christmas tree with very few branches that looks like it needs a lot of love. 

The expression refers to the kind of tree Charlie Brown chose for his Christmas and which is heavily featured in the story. Just look at the picture above to get the idea. 

The True Meaning of Christmas  

This half-hour Christmas show is one of the truly lovable animated specials in TV history, a status proved by its annual network telecast since 1965.

 It is also my favourite Christmas video animations because it focuses on the meaning of Christmas.  
A Charlie Brown Christmas was the first, and best, of a series of programs based on the Charles M. Schulz cartoon strip "Peanuts." Hapless hero Charlie Brown finds himself depressed at Christmastime, searching for the true meaning of the holiday amidst the glitz and commercialism of the modern age. 

Appointed director of the school holiday pageant, Charlie Brown ventures out with Linus to buy "a great, big, shiny aluminum Christmas tree." Instead they bring back a miserable tree--a real one. 

The Peanuts Gang  
A Charlie Brown Christmas shows off the "Peanuts" gang doing what they do best: Lucy is bossy, Snoopy is crazy, Linus is sweet, and Pig Pen is, well, filthy. 

Instead of using adult actors trying to sound like kids, the production features real children providing the voices, an endearing effect. 

The jazz music score, composed by Vince Guaraldi, has become a classic in its own right; like so much about this program, it's an unexpected but perfectly right choice. --
Robert Horton   Source: Xmas Fun 

A Charlie Brown Christmas

How Well did you understand? 

How about YOU?  What does Christmas mean to you?  

Write  a comment in the box below to let me know if you think Christmas is too commercial or whether it has any meaning at all. 

Specifically, what does it mean for YOU?   

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