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Try Unwrapping This

I always enjoy this time of year when part of the editorial department's job is to update a couple of lessons that we feature annually.

Every year I have fun looking at the gifts featured in "The Christmas Book", a catalog put out by Neiman Marcus featuring wonderful and exotic gifts, which most of us could never afford. For 10 years now we have published "Try Wrapping This", an Upper Intermediate Instant Lesson which looks at the history of the Neiman Marcus catalog, the store and the gifts. This year's lesson which details the 2011 catalog is just as imaginative as usual and we also feature a short interview with Ginger Reeder, VP of Corporate Communications at Neiman Marcus.

Sant Parade The other lesson we annually update is " The World's Best Santa", an Elementary Instant Lesson, looking at the annual Santa Games in November in Gallivare, Sweden. This year's event was a little different to normal. Your students can read about what happened when there was not the usual expected amount of snow.

We also offer a lesson on the latest Barbie doll for adults and ask what kind of dolls should children play with. (The Doll With The Dragon Tattoo? - Intermediate Instant Lesson).

Our Pre-Intermediate Instant Lesson looks at two men who ended up not being able to do what Santa does by getting stuck in chimneys: One was trying to rob a house while the other was trying to unlock it (Chimney Sweep? - Pre Intermediate Instant Lesson) and our latest weekly warmer tells you what to do in Tokyo.

A new Instant Workbook and Max Vocab are other offerings this month.

We wish you all a very happy time with your family and friends this Christmas/New Year Season.

Best wishes,
The English To Go Team

Newest Resources

Click here to access the newest resources
resources in the Teachers' Room include:

- The World's Best Santa - Elementary Instant Lesson - The 2011 Santa of the Year is from the Netherlands. Santas from different countries competed in tree decorating, porridge-eating, reindeer-racing and other sports. Class vote, discussion, ordering questions, comprehension, true or false.

- Chimney Sweep? - Pre Intermediate Instant Lesson
 It may work for Santa Claus but two people found that going down a chimney may not be such a good idea unless you want to get stuck. Bizarre stories, rescues, gap fill, reading for detail, comprehension, try + infinitive + to, role play, pair crossword.

- The Doll With The Dragon Tattoo? - Intermediate Instant Lesson
Mattel's latest collector's edition Barbie doll has pink hair and tattoos across her shoulders and neck. Toys, Barbie dolls, role models, tattoos.

- Try Wrapping This - Upper Intermediate Instant Lesson
Our annual look at the Neiman Marcus fantasy Christmas catalog with  'out of this world' gifts. In the 2011 catalog: a $75,000 yurt, a $125,000 custom-built library and a $420,000 international flower show tour. Christmas, role play, vocabulary work.

- Famous Places - Tokyo -Weekly Warmer - Intermediate and above
What should a tourist do in Tokyo? Reading for information. 

- Prefix 4 - 'Position' Prefixes - Max Vocabulary Worksheet
Prefixes that refer to something being below or above something.

- Chimney Sweep? - Instant Workbook - Pre Intermediate
One Texan found that going down his chimney after he had lost his keys was not such a good idea. Reading, Vocabulary, Grammar - reported speech

For these and more than 1,700 other resources:

Featured Lessons
Click here to access this month's featured lessons for the Christmas season.
Christmas Resources include:

- Famous Cities - Bethlehem   - Weekly Warmer
This warmer gets students scanning for information about a travel destination, completing a table about it and then sharing information in small groups.

- What Do You Want...? - Weekly Warmer
A great Warmer about gifts and presents!
Free Lesson

Click here to access this month's free lesson
- Try Wrapping This - Upper Intermediate Instant Lesson

Our annual look at the Neiman Marcus fantasy Christmas catalog with   'out of this world' gifts. In the 2011 catalog: a $75,000 yurt, a $125,000 custom-built library and a $420,000 international flower show tour. Christmas, role play, vocabulary work.
This Month's Point of Interest

This month’s Point of Interest comes from the Upper Intermediate Instant Lesson "Try Wrapping This":

Tue Oct 18,   (Reuters) - Falling bonuses could not be coming at a worse time for investment bankers: It is going to make it that much harder to buy a $75,000 yurt for Christmas.

A luxury version of the tent more associated with Mongol nomads than Wall Street dealmakers is one of the fantasy gifts in the 2011 Neiman Marcus Christmas book.

At 18 feet in diameter, the hand-painted yurt is "the ideal simulation of a genie's posh bottle," the [holiday gift] catalog says. The portable structure includes one-of-a-kind designer down-filled pillows and a crystal chandelier.

Not interested in nomadic outdoor living? How about a $125,000 custom-built library from luxury book publisher Assouline? It has custom-carpeting, objects d'art and framed prints, as well as 250 current or vintage books of the customer's choice.

For those with a bit more to spend, there is a $420,000 international flower show tour, arranged by JetWay private air. The tour, for 10 people, begins at the tulip festival in Merges, Switzerland, and makes stops at the Kifissia flower show in Athens, the Altera rose festival in Avignon, France, and the Chelsea flower show in London.

[Luxury retailer] Neiman Marcus, [which began in 1907] will also make contributions to charities like Firstbook, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

The Christmas book was first published in 1926 and has become an annual display of pricey fantasy gifts mixed in [with couture], shoes and luxury items from jewelry to wallets.such as $95 sterling silver earrings.

Neiman Marcus will donate $10,000 to Water.org, an organization that helps provide safe drinking water and sanitation in developing countries, in return for the $1 million purchase of his-and-her dancing water fountains from Wet, which designed the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

This year's edition comes as the wealthy are facing assaults from various directions, including the Occupy Wall Street protest movement and its global offshoots, an expected drop of 20 percent or more in investment banking bonus pools, and a volatile stock market.

And if all that is getting bankers down, there is a less-expensive way for them to drown their sorrows -- a $5,000 Johnnie Walker scotch tasting, complete with an authentic Scottish bagpiper and master of whisky telling the history and attributes of the various spirits.

User Comments

Thanks for all your help and suggestions
Rhonda, USA

We are extremely grateful for this resource.
Debbie, New Zealand

I have liked your lessons very much.

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