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Christmas is coming.
Today, I took my grandchildren to the Christmas market. The chalets are colourful, they are well decorated and smell good with the scents of gingerbread and sugar candy. There, in the middle of the square, a magnificent sleigh with its seven reindeer is placed on the lawn whitened with frost. A very big Santa speaks with the parents, kisses the children...Seeing this beautiful show, I think : « The municipality has really done things very well and I have never seen such a beautiful and truthful Santa. »
It's our turn. Santa is questioning the children : « Have you been nice ? What toy do you want to have under the Christmas tree?- A fire truck, a talking doll...I'm just noting that, no problem. »
Suddenly, he looks at me and asks : « And you Granny, aren't you asking Santa for anything ? »
I laugh and I answer : « Oh ! My dream would be to speak English fluently, I'm afraid it's not an easy gift. »
Finally, The Christmas Eve party comes. The whole family meet for dinner. The meal is traditional and delicious. Christmas carols invade the house. It is joy until late at night before plunging into a good restful sleep.
In the early morning, a small inner voice wakes me up. But, it speaks to me in English ! What is going on ? I dream in English, I think in English ! I get up in a hurry. I run to my computer. I listen to the BBC. I understand everything. It's a miracle ?
We must face the facts, I met Santa Claus and he brought me a gift.
A month later, my husband and I take a very exotic trip to Ivalo, a pretty little town in Finnish Lapland, 50 km above the Arctic Circle. Snow, aurora borealis and other wonders before meeting the Sami people in their daily lives. The hostess offers us a visit to Rovaniemi, in the house of Santa Claus.
Here he is. He recognises me and asks me in English if I'm happy and fulfilled since Christmas.
« Yes, everything is fine but, now that I do not have to learn English anymore, I'm a little bored. I'm too old to use English in a new job. I do not need to learn my lessons every day anymore. It was pleasantly occupying my time. And even worse, I do not need any more lessons from Judith and Roger, our English friends who dedicate themselves every week to make us progress. I miss that warm social bond with my classmates and my teachers. Finally, I regret having spoken without thinking.
Santa does not want to see me sad. He writes a few words on a piece of paper and leads me to one of his little elves. This one reads the message, takes my hands while looking at me straight in the eyes. A big shiver runs through my body, a flash of lightning illuminates the room and suddenly when I want to talk to him, I look for my words, I can't speak English spontaneously. I have found back my doubts, my mistakes and especially my awful accent.
My life is resuming. Maybe I dreamt ?
From this dream I will remember that the journey towards a goal sometimes brings more happiness than the goal itself.
Building is more rewarding than owning.
English exercise "Christmas tale" created by bribri83 with The test builder. [More lessons & exercises from bribri83]
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End of the free exercise to learn English: Christmas tale
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