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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Snowed In

Context #1 

A college student is talking to his dad on the phone

Tommy: Hello, Dad? 
Dad: Tommy! It’s so good to hear from you! We heard that you got snowed in at the airport and we were worried about you. Is everything OK?
Tommy: Yes, I’m fine, but I’ve been snowed in here for about two days. I don’t know if I’ll be able to fly home for Christmas.
Dad: That’s OK. We are just happy you are safe.
Tommy: It’s strange being at the airport so long, but I think things should open up soon. I’ll keep you posted.

Context #2 

A little girl is asking her Mom about going to school

Sarah: Look at all that snow! It hasn’t stopped all day.
Mom: Yes, it looks like it is getting too deep.
Sarah: Do you think we will get snowed in? That would be so much fun!
Mom: What do you mean? It’s not fun to just stay home and not be able to go anywhere.
Sarah: It’s fun when you don’t have to go to school because you are snowed in!

Meaning: To be snowed in means to be trapped somewhere because of too much snow. In the first context, the college student is snowed in at the airport, so he is not able to fly home for Christmas. In the second context, the little girl is hoping to be snowed in so that she doesn’t have to go to school.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas Comes But Once A Year


Context #1

Mother and Daughter are talking about her old toys

Melissa: Mommy, why are you wrapping those baby toys as Christmas presents? I’m much too big for those types of baby toys. I’m almost 8 years-old.
Mom: Well, Melissa, these presents are not for you. They are for needy families at Christmas who cannot afford to buy their babies toys and other Christmas presents.
Melissa: Really? Can I help you? I bet these toys will make those babies very happy!
Mom: Of course, you can help. Christmas comes but once a year, so we need to remember the less fortunate and do something to make their Christmas bright!

Context #2 

A children’s choir* is getting ready to sing in a hospital lobby

Choir Leader: OK, everyone, please stand together so that we can sing our first song, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
Tabitha: I feel strange standing here in this hospital singing Christmas songs. Why are we here?
Samantha: And people might get mad at us for making noise!
Choir Leader: We are here in the hospital to cheer up the people who are not feeling well at Christmas time and cannot go home.
Tabitha: Oh, so they want to hear us?
Choir Leader: Of course! Christmas comes but once a year, so we should all do our best to be extra kind to people at Christmas. Your beautiful voices will cheer them up!

Explanation: The idea behind this saying is that since Christmas only happens once a year, we should treat it as a very special time by being extra good to others, especially children. Check out this 1936 cartoon with the title “Christmas Comes but Once a Year,” to see what “Professor Grampy” does to cheer up some sad orphans ** at Christmas. Click on the link below: Christmas Comes But Once a Year

*Choir: an organized group of singers (of all ages), typically one that takes part in church services or performs regularly in public.

**Orphan: Children who do not have a mother or father.