Unit 12 Christmas Lost and Found Contents Pre-reading questions Background information Structure analysis Comprehension questions Language points of Text I Exercises Text I Christmas Lost and Found Pre-reading questions 1. Compare Chinese spring festival and Christmas season. 2. What does the title of this text suggest to you? Background information (1) The text is one of the short stories from Christmas in My Heart: a third treasury: further taste of holiday joy, a selection of 14 Christmas stories from 11 volumes of Christmas in My Heart compiled and edited by Joe Wheeler. Christmas in My Heart series promises to touch hearts and life spirits with true meaning of Christmas, that is , the best of Christmas is in our hears. The present story tells how two parents restore the real meaning of Christmas after being submerged in the sorrow of losing their son as well as Christmas for 17 years. Like all the other stories in this rich treasury of holiday tales, it will, like a cozy, crackling fire, warm our hearts and flood our soul. Structure analysis of the text (1) The text can be divided into three parts. Paragraphs 1-5 are the first parts, which talks about the joy and happiness brought by the coming of Christmas Boy. Paragraphs 6-8 form its second part, which gives an account of the sorrow and sadness caused by the sudden death of Christmas Boy. Paragraphs 9-24 make up its last part, which describes the return of the joy and happiness to the family. Part one: Paragraph 1-5 Paragraphs 1-5 This part introduces the writer’s dream of having a big family vibrating with energy, life and love, especially at Christmas. And her dream came true with the arrival of an adopted son, Christmas boy, as well as two biological children. Part one: Paragraph 1-5 What did the narrator desire to have as many as six children? Because being the only child in the family, the author had to spend a quiet Christmas. So she really longed for a big family full of energy, life and love, which could be brought about only by a crowd of children. As a result she vowed that she would have as many as six children after she got married. Part one: Paragraph 1-5 How did the author make her dream come true? She adopted a child since they were unable to bear a child at the beginning of their marriage, and named him Christmas Boy. Shortly after his arrival, they gave births to two biological children. Hence, the author finally got a big family vibrating with energy, life and love. Part one: Paragraph 1-5 How does the author describe the importance of Christmas Boy to her family? He was the only person who had the expertise to select and decorate the Christmas tree each year. He stirred up all the family members with his gift list and Christmas carols in the Christmas season. And he made life colorful with his good cheer and bossy wit. Part one: Paragraph 1-5 In what ways was Christmas Boy different from his foster parents? First, he had a music gift that his foster parents lacked. Second, his active,, bossy character contrasted with the relative passively on his foster parents’ part. He pressed them into singing carols and he stirred them up into animated Christmas activities. By contrast the parents were being dominated on that occasion. Another point is that the boy had irresponsible good cheer, a buoyant spirit that the parents seemed to lack. Part one: Paragraph 1-5 1. vow: vi/t / [C] – E.g. He vowed to look after his mother when his father died. – He vowed revenge on their persecutors.发誓 要对他们的迫害者复仇 2. vibrate: – Her heart vibrates with excitement. – Their hearts vibrated to the speaker's stirring appeal. – Adj. vibrant Part one: Paragraph 1-5 3. …but we had not reckoned on the possibility of infertility. Pp.…but we had not expected that we would be unable to bear a child. Infertility: [U](of a person, animal or plant) inability to reproduce Adj. infertile=barren Part one: Paragraph 1-5 4. Undaunted, we applied for adoption a child, within a year, he arrived. –Pp.Not discouraged by our infertility, we requested to adopted a child. Within a year, we succeeded in adopting one. undaunted & not discouraged by difficulty, danger or disappointment Part one: Paragraph 1-5 5. Then nature surprised us again. Pp. the arrival of their Christmas Boy shortly after their application surprised them once; now they were surprised again because they were able to have two biological children one after another. 6. in rapid succession: quickly and continuously – His words came out in rapid succession. Part one: Paragraph 1-5 7. …compared with my quiet childhood, that made an entirely satisfactory crowd. Pp.... with three children, my family was filled with a big crowd, which, quite different from my quiet childhood, completely satisfied my dream of having a big family. Part one: Paragraph 1-5 8. As our Christmas Boy grew, he made it clear that only he had the expertise to select and decorate the Christmas tree each year. –Pp.As our Christmas Boy grew, he showed his special skill in selecting and decorating the Christmas tree and he became the only qualified person to do those things each year. Part one: Paragraph 1-5 9. rush the season: make people prepare for Christmas hastily long before Christmas really comes预赶季节(未到时令 而先行动) 过早地做某事 Part one: Paragraph 1-5 10. He pressed us into singing carols, our froglike voices contrasting with his musical gift of perfect pitch. Pp. He forced all of us to sing carols, even though our voices, compared with his perfect voice with musical gift, were too harsh and husky to sing. Part one: Paragraph 1-5 11. Each holiday he stirred us up, leading us through a round of merry chaos. Pp.Each holiday. He tried to excite us and turned the whole family into a cheerful disorder. merry chaos & This is an expression of oxymoron. “Chaos” refers to a state of complete and thorough disorder or confusion, which is, however, modified by an adjective incompatible to or contradictory with its original meaning. Part one: Paragraph 1-5 12. Our friends were right about adopted children not being the same. –Pp. Our friends were right in saying that adopting children would usually be different from biological children. 13. Through his own unique heredity, his irrepressible good cheer, his bossy wit, our Christmas Boy made our life colorful. – Pp. With his unique ability inherited from his own parents, his cheerful personality, as well as his wit of ordering others to cooperate with him, he changed our life into a colorful one. Part one: Paragraph 1-5 heredity: the set of characteristics transmitted from parent to offspring. – E.g. Modern medical search results have proved that some diseases are present by heredity.现代医学研究 成果证明有些疾病是遗传的。 Vt. Inherit Irrepressible: too strong or forceful to be held back irrepressible laughter.抑制不住的大笑 Part two: Paragraph 6-8 Paragraphs 6-8 The second part (para) describes what kind of sorrow the death of Christmas Boy brought to his family. What happened to Christmas Boy as well as his family? Christmas Boy was killed in a car accident on his 26th Christmas after he decorated his parents’ Christmas tree as usual, which gave a very heavy blow to his parents. Part two: Paragraph 6-8 How can you know the parents suffered great sorrow at their son’s death? Paragraph 7 tells us that they were grief- stricken and they sold their home and moved to California, leaving behind their friends and church, as well as the sad memories of their Christmas Boy. Part two: Paragraph 6-8 What kind of life did the parents live after their adopted son died? With all the joys that had been brought by Christmas Boy taken away, the parents lived in grief and pain and could not bear to visit their hometown even once in the following 17 years. And Christmas must be the most miserable time for all the members of their family and all kinds of Christmas activities had disappeared from this family. Part two: Paragraph 6-8 1. stop by & make a short visit to (someone’s home) 2. where memories clung to every room. Pp.where every room would make us recall the past. Part two: Paragraph 6-8 What is meant by “Christmas lost’? The phrase means two things. First, it means that the narrator lost her Christmas Boy, who was killed on his 26th Christmas. Second, it means that the narrator no longer celebrated Christmas in the 17 years that followed the death of her Christmas Boy. It was on Christmas that they lost their son Christmas Boy and thus the special occasion became a double-edged heart- breaking day for her. So for 17 years she hadn’t had a Christmas tree and had given up Christmas church service. In this sense, it would be said that she had not had given up Christmas in its true sense for 17 years. Part three: Paragraph 9-24 Paragraphs 9-24 This last part tells us that 17 years later, the parents returned to the city, which brought back all kinds of memories of Christmas Boy. However, they gradually realized that they had found the joy of a noisy Christmas of a big family again and that the love harbored in everyone’s heart will unite people, biological connected or not, into a family and Christmas is just a chance for people to share love with each other. Part three: Paragraph 9-24 Did the author overcome the heartbreaking sorrow of her son’s death after 17 years? No, the mother still could not bear to visit her son’s grave. The question of their present small, boxy house was a sharp contrast to the energetic atmosphere of their old family home. The appearance of their granddaughter was the reflection of their adopted son. Part three: Paragraph 9-24 How did the author and her husband change after they met their granddaughter and her new family? At first, they refused to do any Christmas services, saying that they had not a Christmas tree for 17 years, and that they just couldn’t join them for church and for their Christmas dinner. Then, reluctantly they attended the Christmas party under pressure, and sat rigid in the front pew, fighting back tears. Later on, when they heard their granddaughter’s song “O Holy Night”, they recalled the old memories, which were no longer bitter only, but mixed with bitterness and sweetness. Finally, they sang carols happily in loud voices together caring strangers, and enjoyed the joyous and noisy Christmas party, which they had been refusing in the past 17 years. Part three: Paragraph 9-24 How did the author’s biological children treat their adopted brother? They showed their love to him in their own ways, the artist daughter painted a heart- shaped rock on the headstone of her adopted brother’s grave, writing the words “To my brother, with love” on its surface; while the son sent a holly bright Christmas wreath every year. Part three: Paragraph 9-24 Why, for the first time, did the author feel “a sense of peace, of the positive continuity of life, of renewed faith and hope”? When the author saw that her own children loved their adopted brother as usual, her granddaughter and her new family had never forgotten her father and never ceased to love him, she realized that their Christmas Boy was still living in all his family members’ hearts, and she would not torture herself any more with the loss of her adopted son because she had found him again in their hearts. That’s why she felt a sense of peace. With their love passed on and on, she harbored a new faith in and hope for a joyful life again. Part three: Paragraph 9-24 What is the real meaning of Christmas implied by the author? The real meaning of Christmas lies in our hearts. Christmas is not only a time for family members to gather, but it is also an occasion to show our deep love for each other. As long as our hearts are together, all the family members, living or dead, our own flesh and blood or not, will make up a true and harmonious home. To the narrator, the true meaning of Christmas is peace, continuity of life, faith and hope. Part three: Paragraph 9-24 1. We slid into the city on the tail of blizzard, through streets ablaze with lights. Pp.We drove into the city at night just after a heavy snowstorm, in order not to be noticed by any acquaintance. on the tail of: following closely behind blizzard:[C]a severe snowstorm with strong winds Part three: Paragraph 9-24 ablaze:adj.1) very brightly colored or lighted – E.g. The house was ablaze with lights. 这屋子 灯火通明。 2) Being on fire – E.g. The house is ablaze.房子着火了 3) adv. On fire – E.g. We set the logs ablaze.我们把这些木头点 着了。 Part three: Paragraph 9-24 2. fix one’s gaze on: gaze at 3. We settled into a small, boxy house, so different from the family home where we had orchestrated our lives. It was quiet, like the house of my childhood. – Pp. We settled down in a small house, which was so different from our previous home where, with our Christmas Boy, we had changed our quiet life into a cheerful one. Now the small house reminded me of the quiet house of my childhood, which I had disliked so much. Part three: Paragraph 9-24 4. fulfill oneself: you feel happy and satisfied with what you are doing or with what you have achieved. – E.g. They don't like the idea that women can fulfill themselves without the assistance of a man. Part three: Paragraph 9-24 5. pull up: come to a stop – E.g. The car pulled up outside the station. 6. peal: [C] / v. A ringing of a set of bells, – E.g. a peal of applause一阵响亮的鼓掌声 – The bells began pealing.钟声当当地响了。 Part three: Paragraph 9-24 7. There stood our granddaughter, and in her gray-green eyes and impudent grin I saw the reflection of our Christmas Boy. –Pp.Our granddaughter was standing there, her gray-green eyes as well as her rude smile reminded us of her father, our Christmas Boy. impudent: adj. Not showing due respect for another person. Part three: Paragraph 9-24 reflection: [U] an image that reveals something about a person. 8. Behind her, lugging a large pine tree, came her mother, stepfather and ten-year- old half brother. –Pp.Her mother, stepfather and ten-year-old half brother came after her, dragging a large pine tree. 9. flurry: [c]a sudden shared feeling of excitement – E.g. a flurry of alarm一阵惊恐 Part three: Paragraph 9-24 10. gaily: adv. In a cheerful or light-hearted way. – E.g. Off we set, with Pam chattering gaily all the way. 我们出发了，一路上帕姆兴高采烈唠唠叨叨没个完。 11. bough:a main branch of a tree 12. cheeky : slightly rude or disrespectful but in a charming or amusing way 13. shape up : begin to do right; – E.g. It is no use simply to tell adolescents to shape up and do something useful. – You’d better shape up, young man, or you will be punished. Part three: Paragraph 9-24 14. in a whirl : in a confusing rush – E.g. His brain was in a whirl.他的头脑昏了。 15. shove: vt. push someone or something roughly. – E.g. He shoved her out of the way... 16. You sure as heck can. – Pp. You certainly can. 17. solo: [C] A performance by or intended for a single individual. Part three: Paragraph 9-24 18. We had long ago given up the poignant Christmas services, but now under pressure, we sat rigid in the front pew, fighting back tears. – Pp. After the death of our Christmas Boy, we had not expected to have any Christmas services any more. Now, at the demand of our granddaughter’s family, we sat in the front seats, but the sad memories stiffened our body and filled our eyes and heart with tears. poignant : evoking a keen sense of sadness or regret – E.g. It is the poignant memories of my life in another country Part three: Paragraph 9-24 rigid : ( of a person or part of his body) stiff and unmoving, especially as a result of shock or fear; inflexible rigid ideas rigid in one's views rigid discipline pew : the long seats in a church for people to sit in Part three: Paragraph 9-24 19. soprano : the highest singing voice; a female or boy with such a voice 20. In a rare emotional response, the congregation applauded in delight. – Pp. Greatly touched by her singing, the audience gave a big applause to her delightedly. congregation: refer to the people who are attending a church service or who regularly attend a church service. Part three: Paragraph 9-24 21. relish : 1)vt.enjoy; be pleased with – E.g. She won't relish having to get up before dawn to catch that train. 2) [C] +(for) – I have no relish for tragedy Part three: Paragraph 9-24 22. We had been alerted that there would be a large number of people for dinner－but 35! – Pp. We had been warned that there would be a large number of people attending dinner, but we had never expected that there would be 35 of them. alert:1) vt. Warn – The doctor alerted me to the dangers of smoking. 2) Vigilantly attentive; watchful – He is an alert boy.他是一个机警的孩子。 Part three: Paragraph 9-24 23. assorted relatives : various types of relatives 24. exuberant : ( of people and their behavior) overflowing with life and cheerful excitement – E.g. an exuberant feeling丰富的情感 32.bounce : jump or spring up and down like a ball – E.g. Children bounced into the room.孩子们蹦 跳着进入房间 Part three: Paragraph 9-24 33. sort out : separate from a mass or a group – Sort out the papers to be thrown away, and put the rest back. 34.They took us in, enfolded us in joyous camaraderie. – Pp. They received us and treated us like old friends. enfold :surround; envelop camaraderie : mutual trust and friendly among people who spent a lot of time together Part three: Paragraph 9-24 35. We sang carols in loud, off-key voices, saved only by that amazing soprano. – Pp. We sang carols loudly, often in the wrong key, but every time we were led to the right key by our granddaughter’s perfect singing. 36. it occurred to me that a true family is not always one’s own flesh and blood. It is a climate of the heart. – Pp. I suddenly realized that a family is not always made up by kinship and the hearts filled with love for others would surely make up a true family. Part three: Paragraph 9-24 What is a climate of the heart? Why does the author say that a true family is a climate of the heart? A climate of the heart refers to an atmosphere full of love. The author realized through her own experience in that big family that a true family was one in which all the members were extending great love to each other without caring whether they shared any kinship or not. Part three: Paragraph 9-24 37. Had it not been for our adopted son, we would not now be surrounded by caring strangers who would help us hear the music again. Pp. I felt grateful to my adopted son, without whom we would not have a chance to spend Christmas with these caring people and hear the Christmas carols again, which we had not had for so many years. Part three: Paragraph 9-24 38. zoom : ( of a driver or vehicle ) move or travel quickly – Jack went zooming past in his new car. 39.crest: [C] the top of something, especially a mountain or hill 40.holly: adj. A widely distributed evergreen shrub, typically having prickly dark green leaves, small white flowers,and red berries.冬青树 41.wreath: [C] an arrangement of flowers, leaves, or stems fastened in a ring and used for decoration or for laying on a grave.花圈 Part three: Paragraph 9-24 42. Once more that day her voice, so like her father’s, lifted in song, and the mountainside echoed the chorus of “Joy to the World”, on and on into infinity. After hearing her carols at the Christmas party, for a second time she sang with a voice similar to her father’s. Her song “Joy to the World” echoed among the mountains as if it would be passed on unlimited by time and space. mountainside山腹, 山腰 Part three: Paragraph 9-24 43. I felt … a sense of peace, of the positive continuity of life, of renewed faith and hope. – Pp. … I resumed a peaceful state of mind free of sorrow, realizing that life would be infinite with continuing love, and I began to hold a new faith in and hope for life. 44.The real meaning of Christmas had been restored to us. – Pp. I found the real meaning of Christmas again, that is, hearts with love, which I had had when my family was filled with energy and love with all my three children around me, but later I had mistakenly lost after my adopted son’s death. Exercises (1) Translation exercises 1. 我给你一周时间把你手下的人都整顿好，然后我 希望一切都顺利运转。 I’ll give you a week to sort your men out, and then I expect things to run smoothly. 2. 每逢我们搬迁新居，总有许多东西舍不得丢弃。 Whenever we move to a new house, we always cling to too many possessions. 3. 她非常健谈，一旦轮到她讲话，她就滔滔不绝。 She is such a talkative woman that whenever she takes her turn to start talking, her words will come out in rapid succession. Exercises (2) 4.需要时他总会帮忙，这一点你可以相信。 He will always help in time of need, on this you can reckon. 5. 他偷偷把手枪塞进衣袋。 He slid his pistol into his pocket. 6.这些噪声吵得我头昏脑胀，无法清醒地 思考。 My mind is in a whirl with all this noise, so I cannot think clearly. Exercises (3) 7. 那位农民把迷路的旅行者接到家里过夜。 The farmer took in the lost travelers for the night. 8.他微微一笑，憧憬着一次长途旅行。 He smiled, relishing the idea of a long journey. Exercises (4) Fill in the blank in each sentence with a word or phrase taken from the box in its appropriate form. Slide into , pull up, bounce, reckon on, in succession, press…into, stir up, cling to Exercises (5) bounced He __________a ball against the wall. The newly founded regime needed there _______ influential politicians to stop her sliding into chaos. The local bar has been pressed into service as a school restaurant since the war began. They knew that academic authorities rejected their legend, but they still clung to their belief. At the beginning of the playoffs, he was made redundant and now he is trying to_pull himself up again. Pete Sampras won the Championship of American Open for the third year_in succession. They are typical of couples who plan a family without _reckoning on the small fortune it will cost. He said senior government officials were trying to stir up ethnic tensions through mess media. Comprehension questions of Text II (1) 1. Why did the author enjoy his visits to the cemeteries when he was a child? He enjoyed going there because the cemeteries were quiet, calm places full of life stories. Just the same and dates of a person’s life were interesting enough for him. He would imagine whole scenarios about how that person lived and what kind of family he had had. He would infuse the dead of rural Indiana with all manner of mystery. Comprehension questions of Text II (2) 2. What made him feel dissatisfied with his life in the rural Indiana? When he was in his teen, he found the life in his home area too quiet and sheltered. What he needed was an escape from it and a new way of life. Comprehension questions of Text II (3) 3.What did he learn from his tome leaving experience at the end of the passage? From this experience, he came to realize that what his father did all the years in the cemeteries, which seemed to be tedious and insignificant, gave the relatives of the dead people a lot of comfort and warmth. Love and care should not be confined to family members. Oral activities Organize yourselves into groups of five or six and discuss the following issue. A proverb goes like this: thicker than water.” Do you think there is any contradiction between this proverb and the way the author of the text looks at human relationship?. Oral activities Organize yourselves into groups of five or six and discuss the following issue Why Christmas is celebrated in China nowadays. Does it mean that Christianity is getting popular in China? Writing practice Write a composition of about 200 words on the following topic: What children should do for their parents, especially when an important festival like Christmas or Chinese New Year is approaching. . Good bye!
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