Exercise 1   

People are describing holidays and special events. Listen and number the pictures.

Answer & Transcript


It’s on December 25th. Well, for many people it’s a family day. We decorate a tree with lights and everyone exchanges presents under the tree. Kids are excited because they think Santa Claus brings them their presents. We also have special songs that we sing.


It’s a day in April when people play funny jokes or tricks on each other.


It’s on the second Sunday in May. Most children give their mom flowers or a gift to thank her for all she’s done for them. In some families she gets breakfast in bed or she’s taken out for dinner.


It’s on the evening of December 31st. Lots of people have parties that start late and go on until long after midnight.


This is a day in the spring when adults celebrate kids and share special times with them. Sometimes the children get special gifts. In some countries kids are given free admission to museums and amusement parks.


This is October 31st. Children wear scary costumes and visit their neighbors and ask for candy.

Exercise 2

Task 1

People are talking about how they celebrate their holidays. Do they stay home or go out? Check the correct answer.


Stays home

Goes out







Task 2

Listen again. What do the people do on their birthdays now? Circle the correct answer.

1.  a.  go to a restaurant

     b.  eat cake

     c.  have a party

2.  a.  go to school

     b.  go dancing

     c.  come home early

3.  a.  go to a restaurant

     b.  open presents

     c.  eat cake

4.  a.  have a party

     b.  go dancing

     c.  watch a video

5.  a.  go to a friend’s house

     b.  have a party

     c.  spend time with parents

6.  a.  go to a movie

     b.  go out to dinner

     c.  receive a present

Answer & Transcript


Well, I always have a quiet birthday at home with my husband, George. He takes over the kitchen for the day and bakes a nice cake for me. I prefer that to going out to a restaurant.


I usually invite my classmates to go out and party with me. About 10 of us get together. We start out at a restaurant, and then we go dancing or something. Last year we went to six different clubs in one night. It was wild! It’s the one time a year when my parents don’t care if I stay out late.


My two children always take me out to a restaurant for dinner. I’m glad they do that instead of spending a lot of money on presents. They’re still in school, so they can’t afford to buy expensive gifts.


I always celebrated my birthday when I was younger. I’d have a big party and invite everyone I knew. Sometimes I’d have more than 50 people at my place. Those were the days! I don’t do anything like that anymore. Since I turned 40, I’d rather not remind myself that I’m a year older. Now I just watch a video at home and go to bed early.


My parents usually let me invite all my friends over to my house for a party. Usually I have about 25 people over, without their parents. We always have a lot of fun opening presents, watching videos, and singing along to the radio – stuff like that. My parents are great. They stay upstairs, so they won’t bother us.


My best friend usually takes me out to dinner. We’ve been doing this since we were in high school, and it’s pretty fun. She pays for the meal, but I don’t let her buy me a present. To tell you the truth, I buy myself a present! That way I always get something that I really want.

Exercise 3

Task 1

People are talking about special days. Do they live each day? Check the correct answer.

  Likes Doesn’t like

1.  Valentine’s Day

2.  April Fool’s Day

3.  Christmas

4.  Halloween

5.  Christmas

6.  New Year’s Eve

Task 2

Listen again. Circle the correct answer.

1.  a.  She didn’t get any valentines.

     b.  She got a real valentine.

     c.  She broke up with her boyfriend.

2.  a.  His co-worker played a trick on him.

     b.  He had a wonderful time.

     c.  He played tricks on all his friends.

3.  a.  He didn’t buy any presents.

     b.  He received an expensive gift.

     c.  He gave money to charity.

4.  a.  Her kids went to a party.

     b.  Her kids went to strangers’ houses.

     c.  Her kids studied for a test.

5.  a.  He spent Christmas alone.

     b.  He had a party with his friends.

     c.  He had a big family dinner.

6.  a.  She went to a great party.

     b.  She went dancing.

     c.  The neighbors had a noisy party.

Answer & Transcript


I’m a big fan of Valentine’s Day. It’s one of my favorite days of the year. I love opening and reading those cards and trying to guess who they’re from. And last year I got a real valentine, too – you know, from someone who really liked me. That was so romantic!


I don’t know why people still play tricks on April Fool’s Day. Last year on April first, my co-worker played a really horrible trick on our office. He moved around all the stuff on everyone’s desks, so no one could find what they were looking for. It was a total waste of time.


Christmas these days is really terrible. People spend way too much money on presents. They should give that money to people who really need it, like the homeless. That’s what I did last year. I bought a few presents for my wife and my kids, and then I gave the rest of my holiday money to charity.


When I was a kid, I never liked Halloween much. It was too scary. And now that I have two children of my own, it’s even more frightening. I don’t let my children go from door to door and ask strangers for candy. The world is too dangerous for that. Last year, my kids just went to a party at a friend’s house, and that was fine with me.


Christmas is a special time for me. It’s the only time of the year that I get to see some of my relatives. Last year, our whole family got together for a big Christmas dinner. It was great. We’re all big talkers, so everyone had a funny story to tell.


I don’t look forward to New Year’s Eve. Those parties are the worst. There’s way too much food, and you end up eating too much and staying up too late, and you feel terrible the next day. And the noise! Last year, the people next door had a huge, noisy party that went on until five in the morning!

Exercise 4

People are describing holidays and special events. Which day are they talking about? Listen and write the correct letter.

1.   …….

2.   …….

3.   …….

4.   …….

5.   …….

a.   Mother’s Day

b.   Valentine’s Day

c.   Christmas

d.   Halloween

e.   New Year’s Eve

Answer & Transcript

1 c   2 d   3 a   4 e   5 b



This holiday is in December, just before the end of the year. It’s a time when families get together and give each other presents. In my house, we always put a big tree in the living room and sing special holiday songs.


I still like to dress up in a scary costume and go around my neighborhood getting candy and treats. My costumes are really good ­ last year I was Count Dracula, and I almost scared myself!


My mom is the most important person in my life, so I love to buy her flowers and presents on her special day. Sometimes I also take her out to a concert because she really loves music.


This is definitely my favorite holiday. It’s the last night of the year. I always go to a party at one of my friends’ houses, and we stay up all night listening to music and dancing.


This is the day when people are supposed to spend time with their girlfriend or boyfriend, and buy each other candy, and say they love each other so much. Ugh! I hate it! I guess I’m not a very romantic person.

Exercise 5

People are talking about their birthdays. What did they do? Listen and circle the correct answer.

1. a.   watched a video

    b.   went to a movie

    c.   had a party

2. a.   went to a movie

    b.   received flowers

    c.   received jewelry

3. a.   went dancing

    b.   opened presents

    c.   went to a movie

4. a.   went dancing with friends

    b.   had a party with friends

    c.   opened presents

5. a.   stayed in a hotel by herself

    b.   went to dinner with friends

   c.   opened presents

Answer & Transcript

1 c   2 b   3 a   4 b   5 a



A:   Hey, Mary! I heard you had a birthday last week. What did you do?

B:   Well, I had planned to just get a video and have a quiet evening at home. But my boyfriend threw a surprise party for me! It was really nice-and a real surprise!


A:   My husband is so boring. Yesterday was my birthday, and I got flowers.

B:   What’s the matter with flowers?

A:   I’ve gotten them for seven years in a row! Just once, I’d like to go out for dinner, or get some jewelry anything but flowers!


A:   So what did you do for your birthday?

B:   My girlfriend made me a great dinner and then we went dancing.

A:   Wow, that sounds like fun. Did you get any presents?

B:   No, but that’s okay.


A:   Jen! How was your birthday?

B:   It was great. I had a big party for myself. I didn’t want any presents, so I told my friends just to come to my house and bring something to eat or drink.


A:   My birthday was really disappointing this year.

B:   Really? Why?

A:   Well, I was on a business trip in another city, and I didn’t know anyone. So I just sat in the hotel room by myself and felt really lonely.

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