Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's Eve


As you all know, in Spain we eat twelve grapes at midnight. The actual countdown is primarily followed from the clock on top of  the Correos building in Puerta del Sol square, Madrid. It is traditional to eat twelve grapes, on on each chime of the clock. This tradition has its origins in 1909, when grape growers in Alicante thought of it as a way to cut down on the large production surplus they had had that year. Nowadays the tradition is followed by almost every Spaniard, and the twelve grapes have become synonimous with the New Year. After the clock has finished striking twelve, people greet each other and toast with sparkling wine (such as champagane or cider).

After the family dinner and the grapes, many young people attend New Year parties at pubs, discos and similar parties usually until the next morning. These celebrations range from small, personal ones at local bars to huge parties with guests numbering the thousands at hotel convention rooms. Early next morning, people usually gather to have the traditional winter breakfast of  hot chocolate and fried pastry (chocolate con churros).
In English speaking countries they have a somewhat different tradition: of course, it is celebrated with parties and social gatherings, but at the stroke of midnight, people hold each other's hands and sing what is arguably the song most closely associated with this celebration, Auld Lang Syne:

Auld Lang Syne (/ˈɔːld lɑŋˈsəin/) is a Scottish poem part-written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folf song. By extension, its use has also been common at funerals, graduations, and as a farewell or ending to other occasions.
Its title may be translated into English literally as "old long since", or more idiomatically, "long long ago" o "days gone by" and the song is generally interpreted as a call to remember long standing friendships.
In Scotland, people celebrate Hogmanay (/ˌhɔɡməˈneː/), which is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonimous with the celebration of New Year. The most widespread national custom is the practice of "first footing" which starts immediately after midnight. This involves being the first person to cross the threshold of a frend of neighbour and often involves the giving of symbolic gifts such as salt, coal, shortbread (a type of biscuit) and black bun (a rich fruit cake) intended to bring different kinds of luck to the householder (the traditions says that to ensure good luck for the house the first food should be a dark male, and he should bring with him symbolic pieces of coal, shortbread, salt, black bun and a little dram of whiskey; traditionally, one must clean the house, take out ashes from the fire, clear all debts before the bells of midnight). Food and drink (as the gifts) are then given to the guests. This may go on throughout the early hours of the morning and well into the next day. The first-foot is supposed to set the luck for the rest of the year.

If you want to known more, click herehere or here

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Advertisement of the week

Two commercials about new Virgin trains in UK:

No copyright infringement intended. For educational purposes only.

Song of the week: Starlight, by Muse

Starlight was the second single from hit album "Black Holes and Revelations"
Here's a video including subtitles in English:

And here's the official video:

No copyright infringement intended. For educational purposes only.

United World Colleges


Would you like to study abroad? Can you imagine yourself in a school where all your classmates have very different backgrounds and languages and you learn as much from them as your teachers? Where there will be so much to do that getting enough sleep will be a challenge?
United World Colleges is a global educational NGO that brings students together from all over the world, selected from within their own countries, on merit, irrespective of race, religion or politics and regardless of their ability to pay. These students come together at one of 13 UWC Schools and Colleges across five continents that aim to foster international understanding and peace.
Who can apply?
Students interested in the pre-university diploma will normally be aged between 15 and 17 years old at the application stage and have already completed 10 or 11 years of formal education. Students are normally 16 or 17 when they start at a UWC college. Academic requirements vary from country to country.
The teaching language of these colleges is English, with the exception of UWC Costa Rica which is bilingual – Spanish and English. Previous knowledge of the teaching language is not usually necessary. The colleges will offer support if you do not have previous language knowledge.
Visit the links below for further information:
United World Colleges Spain (Colegios del Mundo Unidos)
Curriculum: International Baccalaurate (Bachillerato Internacional), Students aged 2-16
Application form

No copyright infringement intended. For educational purposes only.

Sound of the week: /i/

/I/  This is a short, close, front, unrounded vowel.
"Close" means that the tongue is positioned as close as possible to the roof of the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant.
"Front" means that the tongue is positioned as far toward as possible in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant.
"Unrounded" means that the lips are spread.
Kit /kIt/
Bid /bId/
Hymn /hIm/
Minute /mInIt/
Watch the video and practise this vowel here.
You can also do exercises about similar sounds /I/-/i:/

No copyright infringement intended. For educational purposes only.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Labor school believes that homework is a valuable and essential part of a pupil's learning. Homework will be set regularly and pupils encouraged to establish good homework habits from the beginning of their career at Labor School.
Homework refers to any work or activity which pupils are asked to undertake outside lesson time, either on their own or with their parents or carers. The nature, type and length of homework will vary according to the age of the pupil and the subject.

Labor school recognises that pupils may be involved in a wide range of other valuable activities after school such as sport, music, languages and after-school activities of all kinds. Our homework policy is designed to enable such activities to take place alongside the enhancement of academic study.
Homework will take a variety of forms, these include Extended Homework Tasks, Learning or Memorising, Practical Work, Reading, Redrafting, Research, Revising, Problem Solving, Watching and Writing.
Teachers will always allow a reasonable amount of time for homework to be completed. Pupils will need to manage their time so that they do some homework each evening.
The amount of homework expected from students will gradually increase as they move through the school. The precise time will vary with the nature of the work and the working habits of the individual student. As a guide, Primary students should expect to spend a minimum time on homework of 2 hours a day, five days a week, while Secondary students can expect to spend between 2 or 3 hours a day, five or six days a week.
The aim of homework
To encourage individual learning for students, to develop the skills, confidence and motivation needed to study effectively on their own.
To consolidate, reinforce skills and understanding developed in lessons and provide an opportunity to practise new skills and further develop knowledge.
To enable students to extend their school learning.
To manage the particular demands of examination work (Avaliación de Diagnóstico) in 4th Primary and 2nd ESO.
To involve parents and carers in the management of students' learning and keeping them informed about the work pupils are doing.
Students' responsibilities
The prime responsibility for completing homework lies with the individual student.
Students should always carry their School Diaries with them.
Students should record that homework has been set even if they have written it in detail in their exercise book.
Students must keep deadlines.
If students are absent, they need to find out what work has been missed and catch up on it. BEING AWAY ON THE DAY THAT HOMEWORK IS SET IS NOT AN EXCUSE FOR NOT DOING IT.
Problems with homework should be resolved before the deadline. If necessary students should see the member of staff concerned for help.
Students should take a pride in doing their best.
Classroom Expectations
I shall:
Arrive on time
Take off my coat
Come prepared to learn
Bring all the correct equipment
Do exactly as the teacher asks of me first time
Respect others and their property
Put up my hand to ask and answer questions
Role of parents
Parents should support pupils with their homework but accept that their role will become less and less important as pupils become more responsible and independent.
Parents should make it clear to pupils that they value homework and support the school in explaining how it can help them to progress.
Parents should encourage pupils and praise them when homework is completed.
Parents should encourage pupils to meet homework deadlines.
Parents should try and provide a reasonable place where pupils can work or encourage them to make use of the school's facilities.
Parents should check the School Diary regularly.
Parents are encouraged to use the School Diary to inform staff of any issues regarding homework.

If parents feel that insufficient or too much homework is being set, they should contact the tutor who will investigate the situation.

No copyright infringement intended. For educational purposes only

Saturday, December 26, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

A New Year's resolution is a commitment an individual makes to a project or the reforming of a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous. The name comes from the fact that these commitments normally go into effect on New Year’s Day and remain until fulfilled or abandoned.
Labor students: Are you making any New Year's Resolutions for 2010? Maybe working harder at school? Spending less time on Tuenti? Leave your comments and tell everybody what your resolutions for the New Year are!
Most Popular Goals
The most popular goals include:
  • Lose weight
  • Get out of debt
  • Become more organized
  • Maintain a diary
  • Save money
  • Improve grades
  • Get a better job
  • Get fit
  • Eat right
  • Get a better education
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce stress
  • Take a trip
  • Volunteer to help others
  • Be less grumpy
  • Be more independent
  • Learn something new (such as a foreign language or music)
  • Try to get up early in the morning
  • Time management
  • Help the poor

Success rate
Recent research shows that while 52% of participants in a resolution study were confident of success with their goals, only 12% actually achieved their goals. Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in goal setting, a system where small measurable goals are used (lose a pound a week, instead of saying "lose weight"), while women succeeded 10% more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends.
If you want to learn more, you can visit these sites:
New Year Resolutions: Tips, help and ideas
Most common New Year Resolutions
La navaja en el ojo

And you can improve your English in just 6 minutes taking this test about New Year's Resolutions
(Source: Wikipedia)

No copyright infringement intended. For educational purposes only.

26th December: Boxing Day


Today is Boxing Day. No, it has nothing to do with the sport of fighting with the fists. If you take a look at the "Word of the Day" in the Oxford English Dictionary for Saturday, December 26th (it is exactly below the labels cloud in this blog) you will find "Christmas Box":
A box, usually of earthenware, in which contributions of money were collected at Christmas, by apprentices, etc.; the box being broken when full, and the contents shared.

So, the name Boxing Day derives from the tradition of giving seasonal gifts, on the day after Christmas, to less wealthy people and social inferiors, which was later extended to various workpeople such as labourers and servants.
The traditional recorded celebration of Boxing Day has long included giving money and other gifts to charitable institutions, the needy and people in service positions. The European tradition has been dated to the Middle Ages, but the exact origin is unknown and there are some claims that it goes back to the late Roman / early Christian era.
In the United Kingdom it certainly became a custom of the nineteenth century Victorians for tradesmen to collect their "Christmas boxes" or gifts in return for good and reliable service throughout the year on the day after Christmas.
As they do not celebrate Epiphany (The 3 Wise Men or Magi) as we do in Spain, among the British and some other English-speaking countries Boxing Day is primarily known as a shopping holiday: January sales, often with dramatic price decreases, start on this day. For many merchants, Boxing Day has become the day of the year with the greatest revenue (much as the day after Thanksgiving in the United States: Black Friday).
If you want to know more: Elaine's Boxing Day Page

No copyright infringement intended. For educational purposes only.

Friday, December 25, 2009

U2: Miss Sarajevo

We advise:
Read this interesting post about a moving song by U2 and Pavarotti at MJ's English Box....
...or if you prefer Queen, enjoy different versions of Bohemian Rhapsody

Britain, Britain, Britain

Over 9 minutes of different opening credits of the original TV show Little Britain:

Lou and Andy at the swimming-pool:
"If you have a verruca, and want to share it with others, then why not pop down to the local swimming pool?"
Lou brings his friend Andy to the swimming pool.
— I wanna get in!
— Wait a minute, I'll just go and find the lifeguard, to help you get in... You wait there, OK?
— Wait a minute!
— Excuse me, I want you to give me a hand...
(Lou speaks to the lifeguard)
— Did you shower?
— Yeah!

And now, Litltle Britain USA:

Lou and Andy in church:

No copyright infringement intended. For educational purposes only.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Graded Readers for the 2nd Term

You MUST buy the books (they are inexpensive: only about 6€ each). Photocopies are NOT ALLOWED. Photocopying books is ILLEGAL. You must respect copyright law, writers and editors! Authors make a living from it and lose revenue when you photocopy: COPYING is STEALING!

You must bring your books to class on the day of the test.

1st ESO - Test on Friday, February 19th
The Ghost Teacher

Author: Julie Hart
Burlington Books
ISBN: 978-9963-626-91-5
Genre: Horror / Suspense
Level: Medium
Words: 200-400 Headwords

West Hill School is just an ordinary school, but one day a new teacher arrives and some very strange things start to happen. The teacher comes to work in a car that has no driver. He carries a newspaper dating from 1935. And he always seems to punish the same boy. What is going on?

2nd ESO - Test on Monday, February 22nd
Author: Mark Twain
Burlington Books
ISBN: 978-9963-46-155-4
Genre: Classic Adventure
Level: Medium
Words: 400-600 Headwords

One of Mark Twain’s most popular characters, Tom Sawyer, is a mischievous boy who grows up in the area of the Mississippi River in the USA. He is always in trouble and constantly trying to avoid work and school. With his friend, Huck Finn, Tom has all kinds of adventures and gets into all sorts of predicaments, but they usually find a way to solve their problems.

3rd ESO - Test on Monday, February 22nd
Author: H. Rider Haggard
Burlington Books
ISBN: 978-9963-46-135-6
Genre: Classic Adventure
Level: Medium
Words: 600-90 Headwords
Allan Quatermain, Sir Henry Curtis and Captain Good set out to find Sir Henry’s brother, George Curtis, who has disappeared while looking for the legendary diamond mines of King Solomon in Africa. The group’s exciting adventures take them to Kukuanaland, where they try to solve the mystery of King Solomon’s treasure.

4th ESO - Test on Monday, February 22nd
retold by Julie Hart
Burlington Books
ISBN: 978-9963-47-834-7
Genre: Classic Fiction
Level: Medium
Words: 900-1,300 Headwords
A superb collection of five classic stories written by famous 19th-century writers. Prepare to be fascinated, scared and saddened. The stories are about ordinary people and the choices they make in life – some good, some bad and some with disastrous consequences. All five stories carry a strong message, and have a surprising twist at the end.

We have got 10 cd's containing the audio recording of the stories which will be given to the top 4 students in the first term in each group and the first student to have signed in as a follower of Labor English Zone (if one of the four top students happens to be also the first one to register as a follower, the audio cd will be given to the next student in their group to have signed in). These are the winners:
1st ESO A 
(Top 4 students + 1st follower of Labor English Zone)
Javier López Graña
Gabriel Martínez García
Íñigo Alcubierre Clemente
Rodrigo Rodríguez González
Alexandre Graña Pérez
1st ESO B 
(Top 4 + 1st follower of Labor English Zone)
Candela Rodríguez Bernárdez
Adrián Alonso Núñez
Ánder Dieste Cortés
Édgar Pereira Veiga
Jesús A. Vieira Míguez
2nd ESO A
(Top 4 + 1st follower of Labor English Zone)
Iago Borrajo Rodríguez
Yasmina El Hachimi
Carlos Maceiras Masero
Sol Epstein Fernández
Sheila Aparicio Suárez
2nd ESO B
(Top 4 + 1st follower of Labor English Zone)
Miguel Romero Zapatero
Cecilia Saa Pereira
Mª Desirée Fernández de Araújo
Paula Suárez Balado
Antía Suárez Molares
3rd ESO A
(Top 4 + 1st follower of Labor English Zone)
Paula Reguera Ayán
Belén González Muñoz
Lorena Gil Vaseluk
Christian Collazo Román
Alejandro Godar Calvar
3rd ESO B
(Top 4 + 1st follower of Labor English Zone)
Marta Barros Reguera
Alejandro Otero Fernández
Joana Susana Mayo Gandarío
Laura Barros Reguera
Alberto Ponce Patiño
4th ESO A
(Top 4 + 1st follower of Labor English Zone)
Sara McGarry Arena
Marina López Ribera
Christian Ferradás Alonso
Naia Cea Vila
Esteban Bernárdez Troncoso
4th ESO B
(Top 4 + 1st follower of Labor English Zone)
Cristina Ponce Fernández
Reyes Moreno Fernández
Mónica Faro Comesaña
Carlos Pachón González
Miguel Vila Rodríguez

No copyright infringement intended. For educational purposes only.

Christmas homework

1st ESO
Complete Unit 3 in your workbook. You have study time on Wednesday, January 13th and the Test for Unit 3 on Thursday, January 14th.
2nd ESO
Complete Unit 3 in your workbook. You have study time on Monday, January 11th and the Test for Unit 3 on Wednesday, January 13th. You also have to print the Bullying Advice (Thursday, December 17th) in this blog, and bring it to class on Monday, January 11th.
3rd ESO
Print the Bullying Advice (Thursday, December 17th) in this blog and bring it to class on Monday, January 11th.
4th ESO
Complete Unit 3 in your workbook. You have the Test for Unit 3 on Monday, January 11th.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas' Eve dinner

In Britain, turkey is the traditional dish for Christmas' Eve dinner. Enjoy it!

No copyright infringement intended. For educational purposes only.

The 3 Wise Men didn't have a GPS

There is no historical evidence, but we can be quite sure that the 3 Magi did not use a GPS to find the stable in Bethlehem...
Life of Brian

Scene 2: Three Wise Men with Bad Senses of Direction

The sketch:

holy music

WISE MAN #1: Ahem.
Who are you?
WISE MAN #1: We are three wise men.
MANDY: What?!
WISE MAN #1: We are three wise men.
MANDY: Well, what are you doing creeping around a cow shed at two o'clock in the morning? That doesn't sound very wise to me.
WISE MAN #3: We are astrologers.
WISE MAN #1: We have come from the East.
MANDY: Is this some kind of joke?
WISE MAN #2: We wish to praise the infant.
WISE MAN #1: We must pay homage to him.
MANDY: Homage? You're all drunk. It's disgusting. Out! The lot, out!
WISE MAN #1: No--
MANDY: Bursting in here with tales about oriental fortune tellers. Come on. Out!
WISE MAN #2: No, no. We must see him.
MANDY: Go and praise someone else's brat! Go on!
WISE MAN #2: We--
WISE MAN #1: We were led by a star.
MANDY: Or led by a bottle, more like. Go on. Out!
WISE MAN #1: Well-- well, we must see him. We have brought presents.
WISE MAN #2: Gold. Frankincense. Myrrh.
MANDY: Well, why didn't you say? He's over there. Sorry the place is a bit of a mess. Well, what is myrrh, anyway?
WISE MAN #3: It is a valuable balm.
MANDY: A balm? What are you giving him a balm for? It might bite him.
WISE MAN #3: What?
MANDY: That's a dangerous animal. Quick! Throw it in the trough.
WISE MAN #1: No, it isn't.
MANDY: Yes, it is. It's great, big mmm...
WISE MAN #3: No, no, no. It is an ointment.
MANDY: Aww, there is an animal called a balm,... or did I dream it? So, you're astrologers, are you? Well, what is he then?
WISE MAN #2: Hmm?
MANDY: What star sign is he?
WISE MAN #2: Uh, Capricorn.
MANDY: Uhh, Capricorn, eh? What are they like?
WISE MAN #2: Ooh, but... he is the son of God, our Messiah.
WISE MAN #1: King of the Jews.
MANDY: And that's Capricorn, is it?
WISE MAN #2: Uh, no, no, no. That's just him.
MANDY: Ohh, I was going to say, 'Otherwise, there'd be a lot of them.' sniff
WISE MAN #1: By what name are you calling him?
MANDY: Uh, 'Brian'.
WISE MEN: We worship you, O Brian, who are Lord over us all. Praise unto you, Brian, and to the Lord, our Father. Amen.
MANDY: Do you do a lot of this, then?
WISE MAN #2: What?
MANDY: This praising.
WISE MAN #2: No, no. No, no.
MANDY: Er, well, um, if you're dropping by again, do pop in. Heh. And thanks a lot for the gold and frankincense, er, but don't worry too much about the myrrh next time. All right? Heh. Thank you! Good-bye! Well, weren't they nice? Hmm. Out of their bloody minds, but still.
WISE MEN leave
Look at that. Hoo hoo hoo.
WISE MEN return and grab presents
Here! Here! Here, that-- that's mine! Hee. Hey, you just gave me that! Oh.
holy music
BABY BRIAN: crying
MANDY: Shut up. smack

No copyright infringement intended. For educational purposes only.

Spelling mistake!

We found this at a hotel in Moaña. Where is the mistake?
Leave your answers at the "Comentarios" section, right at the end of this post.

Make an educated guess

Here is a good chance to practise English and French simultaneously!

Your machine,sir.
Hello George.
Where am I?
Make an educated guess.
It's not my time.
Maybe we could make an arrangement...
NESPRESSO What else?

No copyright infringement intended. For educational purposes only.

Why is Christmas sometimes spelt "X-mas"?

Hi, there, Labor students!
A quiz for you (no points to give away this time, though, sorry!).
As you know Christmas is an annual Christian holiday, celebrated on December 25th, that commemorates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth: Christmas day is central to the Christmas and holiday season, and in Christianity marks the beginning of the larger season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days, until Epiphany, that is, the arrival  of the 3 Magi on January 6th.

Maybe you have seen the word Christmas written as X-mas. Your task it to find an explanation for that spelling. What does it mean? What is its origin? Why, why, why? (And, no, sorry, it has nothing to do with the X-Men, although Jesus did have superpowers)
Leave a comment with your answer at the section "Comentarios" which you will find right at the end of this post.

No copyright infringement intended. For educational purposes only.

Christmas Carols & Songs

A carol is a song of praise or joy, especially for Christmas. But it is also an old round dance often accompanied by singing.  The word was probably from Old French, derived from Latin choraula, which means "choral song".
Enjoy a selection of traditional Christmas carols and songs in English. Lyrics are included, so you can learn how to sing them!

Santa Claus is Coming to Town:

The Twelve Days of Christmas
The meaning for each day in the song is explained below: 
1 True Love refers to God
2 Turtle Doves refers to the Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens refers to Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds refers to the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings refers to the first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying refers to the six days of creation
7 Swans A-swimming refers to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
8 Maids A-milking refers to the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing refers to the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping refers to the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping refers to the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming refers to the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

Jingle Bells
Believe it or not Jingle Bells, one of the most famous American Christmas songs, was originally written for Thanksgiving! The author and composer of Jingle Bells was a minister called James Pierpoint who composed the song in 1857 for children celebrating his Boston Sunday School Thanksgiving. The song was so popular that it was repeated at Christmas, and indeed Jingle Bells has been reprised ever since. The essence of a traditional Christmas is captured in the lyrics of Jingle Bells and the sound effects using the bells have become synonymous with the arrival of Father Christmas or Santa Claus to the delight of children of all ages! (Learn a song version; you can listen, repeat and learn the song):

White Christmas
The song White Christmas is undoubtedly the most famous and popular of all the Christmas songs. The music and lyrics for White Christmas were written by Irving Berlin in 1942 and originally featured in the movie Holiday Inn starring Bing Crosby. The lyrics of White Christmas struck a chord with the soldiers fighting in the Second World War and their families who were waiting for them back home. The song and recording of White Christmas by Bing Crosby with John Scott Trotter's orchestra and the Ken Darby Singers was so popular that it was later reprised in the movie called after its name - White Christmas. The film White Christmas once again starred Bing Crosby together with Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen.

Silent Night.
The origin of the Christmas carol we know as Silent Night was a poem that was written in 1816 by an Austrian priest called Joseph Mohr. On Christmas Eve in 1818 in the small alpine village called Oberndorf it is reputed that the organ at St. Nicholas Church had broken. Joseph Mohr gave the poem of Silent Night (Stille Nacht) to his friend Franz Xavier Gruber and the melody for Silent Night was composed with this in mind. The music to Silent Night was therefore intended for a guitar and the simple score was finished in time for Midnight Mass. Silent Night is the most famous Christmas carol of all time!:

O Come All Ye Faithful! 
The text to the Carol O Come All Ye Faithful was originally written in Latin (Adeste Fideles) and was intended to be a hymn, it is attributed to John Wade, an Englishman. The music to O Come All Ye Faithful was composed by fellow Englishman John Reading in the early 1700s. The tune was first published in a collection known as "Cantus Diversi" in 1751. In 1841 Rev. Frederick Oakley is reputed to have worked on the familiar translation of O Come All Ye Faithful which replaced the older Latin lyrics "Adeste Fideles".

We wish you a Merry Christmas
The author and composer of We Wish You a Merry Christmas cannot be traced however it is believed to date back to England in the sixteenth century. The tradition of carollers being given Christmas treats for singing to wealthy members of the community is reflected in this Christmas song - We Wish You a Merry Christmas! Over the years the fashion for figgy puddings mentioned in We Wish You a Merry Christmas has faded. But for the curious, the recipe consisted of the most important ingredient which was of course figs together with butter, sugar, eggs ,milk, rum, apple, lemon and orange peel, nuts, cinnamon, cloves and ginger! Not dissimilar to the modern day Christmas Puddings!

Auld Lang Syne. 
Although not strictly a Christmas song this section would not be complete without the inclusion of the lyrics of Auld Lang Syne. The song Auld Lang Syne is traditionally sung by most of us on the stroke of midnight each New Years Eve. However in Scotland, where Auld Lang Syne originates it is also sung on Burns Night, January 25th, to celebrate the life of the author and famous poet Robert Burns. The lyrics of Auld Lang Syne actually consist of five verses. The words 'Auld Lang Syne' literally translates from old Scottish dialect meaning 'Old Long Ago' and is about love and friendship in times past. The lyrics in the song Auld Lang Syne referring to 'We'll take a Cup of Kindness yet' relate to a drink shared by men and women to symbolise friendship. Happy New Year!!!

And now a counterpoint. Food for thought by the brilliant (and grossly underrated) Simon & Garfunkel:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia"7 O'Clock News/Silent Night" is the twelfth and final track on Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, a 1966 album by Simon and Garfunkel. The track consists of an overdubbing of two contrasting recordings: a simple arrangement of the Christmas carol "Silent Night", and a simulated "7 O'Clock News" bulletin of the actual events of 3 August 1966.

The "Silent Night" track consists of Simon and Garfunkel singing the first verse twice over, accompanied by a piano. The voice of the newscaster is that of Charlie O'Donnell, then a radio disc jockey. As the track progresses, the song becomes fainter and the news report louder. Matthew Greenwald calls the effect "positively chilling".[1] Bruce Eder describes the track as "a grim and ironic (and prophetic) comment on the state o the United States in 1966".[2]
Events reported in the news
The following events are reported in the order given:[3]
No copyright infringement intended. For educational purposes only.

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