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December
December has arrived and our activities help us to start thinking about this festive time of the
year. The activities for our B2 First and C1 Advanced students are design to help students talk
about their feelings about Christmas and the traditions they share with friends and family. Our
A2 Flyers, A2 Key and B1 Preliminary students can have some fun while they find out how to
make some traditional Christmas food. The youngest ones can set their creativity free and
design their Christmas tree while they practise their speaking, listening and writing. Happy
teaching!
1. Christmas feelings and traditions ..................................................................................................2
2. Let’s do some cooking ....................................................................................................................7
3. Spot the difference.........................................................................................................................12
4. References......................................................................................................................................14
2
1. Christmas feelings and traditions
Level: B2 First / C1 Advanced
Skills: reading, speaking and listening
Interaction: whole class and in pairs activity
Equipment and materials: speakers, digital board
Time: 40 minutes
Warm up (10’) – whole class activity
• Do you have any special traditions in your family or
with your friends to celebrate Christmas? If so, can
you tell us about them?
• What do you love about Christmas?
• How do you usually feel at Christmas?
• How will this Christmas period be different?
Reading (10’) – in pairs
THINGS I LOVE ABOUT CHRISTMAS
Christmas is a time of giving and sharing; it is by far my favourite time of the year. Since I was
I child, I anxiously await December 25 because there is so much that I love about this holiday.
This Christmas, I have decided to share a list of things that I enjoy the most of this merry
season.
1. Listening to Christmas carols. The joy of listening to Christmas carols with a cup a
cocoa is one that is matched by very few other things in life. Snuggling in a blanket
with family and friends, and humming these tunes can cheer one up immensely. It
encourages a feeling of closeness, and leads one to feelings of joy no matter how bad
things in life may be.
2. Fairy lights and pretty decorations. New lights and fresh decorations mixed with old
ones give a feeling of warmth and happiness. When these are up, everyone knows
that Christmas is near, and this is enough to brighten even the gloomiest of moods.
Decorating a tree is a pleasure worth experiencing in life.
3. Buying gifts for your loved ones. If anyone tries to convince you that 'retail therapy'
does not work, they are dead wrong - well, at least at Christmas time. Shopping for
friends and family in this season, is extremely exciting. What is even more exhilarating
is trying to keep their presents a secret from them.
3
4. Keeping a secret stash of holiday sweets. Okay, it is time to come clean! Keeping a
secret stash of all the traditional sweets made at home before Christmas time is one
of the joys of the holiday season. Trust me, sneaking some of these while your mother
maintains a fierce guard over them is no mean feat. Maybe this is why pre-holiday
treats taste much better than they do on Christmas day.
5. Another reason to stay out late. Staying out late during Christmas time without any
curfews is what I love about the season.
6. Family get-togethers. This is the time when all your favourite and not so
favourite aunts, uncles nephews, nieces, and cousins gather at your place for a big
feast. With all the traditional dishes and sweets and the house full of decorations, we
feel like one big happy family. Yes, there is the occasional family drama, but hey, that's
what Christmas is all about.
Adapted from Fernandes, R. (2011).
Answer the questions:
1. How close are your feelings about Christmas to the ones expressed by the author? Justify
your answers.
2. Can you explain the words in bold?
Reading (10’) – whole class activity
Read these celebrities’ Christmas traditions. Decide if they are true or false. If they are false,
can you identify where the inaccuracy is? Now, match the statements with the celebrities. Do
you know them all? Talk to your partners and ask them about the celebrity you don’t know
about. What are the famous for? What do they do for a living?
1. "Christmas Day is more like order McDonald's and go to
the theatre."
4
2. "It's really about being with family so we never leave the
house, whether we're making gingerbread houses or baking
cookies or sitting around watching movies."
3. "Every year, Santa comes and leaves presents for the kids
out in the open. Sometimes Santa likes to wrap a couple of
them but usually he leaves them open so the kids can see
what they are.”
4. "My family watches the same three movies every
Christmas and it kills my husband. He likes Die Hard, my son
is obsessed with Les Miserables and my choice is Home
Alone."
5. "What we've started doing is taking our children each
Christmas or New Year's on an experience instead of just
buying them things.”
6. "Every year we eat Yorkshire pudding on Christmas
morning and it's pretty awesome."
5
Adapted from Sutton, S. (2018).
7. "So far, our tradition is no presents for the kids."
Mila Kunis and
Ashton Kutcher
Hilarie BurtonBrooke Shields
Kate Hudson
Nick Jonas
Blake Lively
Chrissy Teigen
and John Legend
6
Speaking (10’) – whole class activity
Students should choose one of their family’s traditions, write it down and put it in a box. Then,
they can take turns to pick one piece of paper and read the tradition aloud, the rest of the class
has to try to find whose tradition it is.
KEY
1. "Christmas Day is more like order McDonald's and go to the movies." (Chrissy Teigen and
John Legend)
2. "It's really about being with family so we never leave the house, whether we're making
gingerbread houses or baking cookies or sitting around watching movies." (Blake Lively)
3. "Every year, Santa comes and leaves presents for the kids out in the open. Sometimes
Santa likes to wrap a couple of them but usually he leaves them open so the kids can see
what they are. (Kate Hudson)
4. "My family watches the same two movies every Christmas and it kills my husband. He likes
Die Hard, My son is obsessed with Les Miserables.” (Hilarie Burton)
5. "What we've started doing is taking our children each Christmas or New Year's on an
experience instead of just buying them things.” (Brooke Shields)
6. "Every year we eat tamales on Christmas morning and it's pretty awesome." (Nick Jonas)
7. "So far, our tradition is no presents for the kids," (Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher)
7
2. Let’s do some cooking
Level: A2 Flyers & A2 Key / B1 Preliminary
Skills: speaking, reading, writing, listening
Interaction: whole class and in groups activity
Content: food and cooking vocabulary
Equipment and materials: internet, speakers, screen,
recording device*, scissors, paper
Time: 80 minutes
Warm up (10’) – whole class activity
• Is there any food that you typically eat at Christmas?
• If so, what is it?
• Do you like cooking? Why (not)?
• What is your favourite dish?
• Do you have a sweet tooth? What do you think this idiom means?
Reading (15’) – groups of 3 / 4
Divide your students into groups of three or four. Make as many copies of the recipe as groups
of students you have. Assign one classroom wall or area in the wall to each group. Cut out the
different steps of the recipe and stick them to your classroom walls or areas (not in the correct
order). Students should name one or two scribes and two messengers. Assign a desk to each
group. The messengers will have to go to their wall, read the different steps of the recipe and
dictate it to the scribes. Once they have all the steps they will have to put them in the correct
order.*
*If you are teaching online you can create different Padlets for the different groups and the
students in each group will have to work together to put the steps in the correct order.
Pre-heat the oven to 190C / 170C fan.
Line 3 baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
8
Measure the flour, and add it to a large mixing bowl.
Weigh the butter then chop it up into a few pieces before
adding it to the flour. Using your fingertips, rub in the
butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Measure the sugar then stir it into the flour mixture with
the bicarbonate of soda and ginger. Add the golden
syrup.
Crack the egg into a separate bowl then add it to the flour.
Mix everything together until you have a smooth dough.
The recipe makes quite a lot so, if you need to, divide the
dough in half then roll out one half on to a lightly floured
work surface until it’s about 5mm thick.
9
Vocabulary (15’) – groups of 3 / 4
In the same groups ask students to create posters or boxes on their Padlet with the following
semantic fields:
Cut out your gingerbread men using a cutter or use any
other shapes you have to hand. Place them on your
baking tray.
Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until they become a
slightly darker shade. If your shapes are smaller, check
them after 7-8 minutes. Cool slightly then lift on to a wire
rack to cool.
You can enjoy the gingerbread biscuits as they are or add
some icing decorations.
Cooking verbs
10
Can you find a picture for each of these words?
Follow up (20’) – individual activity
Aim High! (20’) – Try the gingerbread man recipe at home and record a video tell us about
your experience!
Cooking
utensils
Ingredients
Your school is running a Christmas cooking competition. You should write the recipe
of your favourite dish and post it on the school blog. The most original one will receive
an invitation to eat at the Master Chef restaurant in Madrid.
11
KEY
INGREDIENTS
• 350 g plain flour
• 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
• 2 tsp ground ginger
• 100 g butter
• 175 g light muscovado sugar
• 4 tbsp golden syrup
• 1 large egg
For the decoration
• 1/2 cup icing sugar
• smarties, jelly tots etc
1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C / 170C fan.
2. Line 3 baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
3. Measure the flour, and add it to a large mixing bowl.
4. Weigh the butter then chop it up into a few pieces before adding it to the flour. Using
your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
5. Measure the sugar then stir it into the flour mixture with the bicarbonate of soda and
ginger. Add the golden syrup.
6. Crack the egg into a separate bowl then add it to the flour.
7. Mix everything together until you have a smooth dough.
8. The recipe makes quite a lot so, if you need to, divide the dough in half then roll out
one half on to a lightly floured work surface until it’s about 5mm thick.
9. Cut out your gingerbread men using a cutter or use any other shapes you have to
hand. Place them on your baking tray.
10. Gather up any scraps and roll out again. Repeat with the remaining dough.
11. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until they become a slightly darker shade. If your
shapes are smaller, check them after 7-8 minutes. Cool slightly then lift on to a wire
rack to cool.
12. You can enjoy the gingerbread biscuits as they are or add some icing decorations.
12
3. Spot the difference
Level: Pre-A1 Starters / A1 Movers / A2 Flyers
Skills: speaking, writing and listening
Interaction: in pairs, whole class, individual activity
Equipment and materials: digital board / worksheets
Time: 40 minutes
Warm up! (10’) – whole class activity
Look at this Christmas vocabulary. How many of these
words do you know? Put them in the correct category
CHRISTMAS
DECORATIONS
CHRISTMAS
CHARACTERS
FOOD
13
Look and colour (10’) – individual activity
Colour this Christmas tree. Now work with a classmate.
Spot the difference (10’) – in pairs
Students should work in pairs. Student A says something about their picture and Student B
says how their picture is different.
Writing (10’) – Individual activity
PLACES / PARTS OF
THE HOUSE
FEELINGS
Your school is running a Christmas tree competition. Students can participate
posting their Christmas tree and a brief description on the school blog (up to 25
words). The most creative and original Christmas tree will receive a card with
some money to donate to a charity of their choice.
14
4. References
Cooking with my kids (2020). Easy gingerbread men recipe for kids. [online]. Available at:
https://cafemom.com/entertainment/216778-celebrity-christmas-holiday-traditions
[Accessed 27th
November 2020].
Cottonbro (2019). Two Kids Putting Cream on Pastry. [image/jpeg]. Available at:
https://www.pexels.com/photo/two-kids-putting-cream-on-pastry-3171351/ [Accessed
2nd
December 2020].
Davies, J. (n.d.) Word Cloud [online]. Available at: https://www.jasondavies.com/wordcloud/
[Accessed 1st
December 2020].
Fernandes, R. (2011). 8 things I love about Christmas. The Express Tribune [online]. Available
at: https://tribune.com.pk/article/9529/8-things-i-love-about-christmas [Accessed 2nd
December 2020].
Guerrero, D. (2018). Person Walks Outdoor during Night. [image/jpeg]. Available at:
https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-walks-outdoor-during-night-1682528/
[Accessed 2nd
December 2020].
Michalou, N. (2020). Woman in White Long Sleeve Shirt Sitting on Chair. [image/jpeg].
Available at: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-white-long-sleeve-shirt-sitting-
on-chair-5765736/ [Accessed 2nd
December 2020].
Pixabay (2016). Snowy Field during Golden Hour. [image/jpeg]. Available at:
https://www.pexels.com/photo/branches-cold-conifers-environment-259620/
[Accessed 2nd
December 2020].
Super Coloring (2020). Christmas Tree [online]. Available at:
http://www.supercoloring.com/es/dibujos-para-colorear/arbol-de-navidad-con-
regalos-2?colore=online [Accessed 27th
November 2020].
Sutton, S. (2018). 20 Celebrity Family Christmas Traditions that are Perfect for the Holidays.
Cafemom [online]. Available at: https://cafemom.com/entertainment/216778-celebrity-
christmas-holiday-traditions [Accessed 2nd
December 2020].

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December 2020 - Cambridge English Teachers Activities

  • 1. 1 December December has arrived and our activities help us to start thinking about this festive time of the year. The activities for our B2 First and C1 Advanced students are design to help students talk about their feelings about Christmas and the traditions they share with friends and family. Our A2 Flyers, A2 Key and B1 Preliminary students can have some fun while they find out how to make some traditional Christmas food. The youngest ones can set their creativity free and design their Christmas tree while they practise their speaking, listening and writing. Happy teaching! 1. Christmas feelings and traditions ..................................................................................................2 2. Let’s do some cooking ....................................................................................................................7 3. Spot the difference.........................................................................................................................12 4. References......................................................................................................................................14
  • 2. 2 1. Christmas feelings and traditions Level: B2 First / C1 Advanced Skills: reading, speaking and listening Interaction: whole class and in pairs activity Equipment and materials: speakers, digital board Time: 40 minutes Warm up (10’) – whole class activity • Do you have any special traditions in your family or with your friends to celebrate Christmas? If so, can you tell us about them? • What do you love about Christmas? • How do you usually feel at Christmas? • How will this Christmas period be different? Reading (10’) – in pairs THINGS I LOVE ABOUT CHRISTMAS Christmas is a time of giving and sharing; it is by far my favourite time of the year. Since I was I child, I anxiously await December 25 because there is so much that I love about this holiday. This Christmas, I have decided to share a list of things that I enjoy the most of this merry season. 1. Listening to Christmas carols. The joy of listening to Christmas carols with a cup a cocoa is one that is matched by very few other things in life. Snuggling in a blanket with family and friends, and humming these tunes can cheer one up immensely. It encourages a feeling of closeness, and leads one to feelings of joy no matter how bad things in life may be. 2. Fairy lights and pretty decorations. New lights and fresh decorations mixed with old ones give a feeling of warmth and happiness. When these are up, everyone knows that Christmas is near, and this is enough to brighten even the gloomiest of moods. Decorating a tree is a pleasure worth experiencing in life. 3. Buying gifts for your loved ones. If anyone tries to convince you that 'retail therapy' does not work, they are dead wrong - well, at least at Christmas time. Shopping for friends and family in this season, is extremely exciting. What is even more exhilarating is trying to keep their presents a secret from them.
  • 3. 3 4. Keeping a secret stash of holiday sweets. Okay, it is time to come clean! Keeping a secret stash of all the traditional sweets made at home before Christmas time is one of the joys of the holiday season. Trust me, sneaking some of these while your mother maintains a fierce guard over them is no mean feat. Maybe this is why pre-holiday treats taste much better than they do on Christmas day. 5. Another reason to stay out late. Staying out late during Christmas time without any curfews is what I love about the season. 6. Family get-togethers. This is the time when all your favourite and not so favourite aunts, uncles nephews, nieces, and cousins gather at your place for a big feast. With all the traditional dishes and sweets and the house full of decorations, we feel like one big happy family. Yes, there is the occasional family drama, but hey, that's what Christmas is all about. Adapted from Fernandes, R. (2011). Answer the questions: 1. How close are your feelings about Christmas to the ones expressed by the author? Justify your answers. 2. Can you explain the words in bold? Reading (10’) – whole class activity Read these celebrities’ Christmas traditions. Decide if they are true or false. If they are false, can you identify where the inaccuracy is? Now, match the statements with the celebrities. Do you know them all? Talk to your partners and ask them about the celebrity you don’t know about. What are the famous for? What do they do for a living? 1. "Christmas Day is more like order McDonald's and go to the theatre."
  • 4. 4 2. "It's really about being with family so we never leave the house, whether we're making gingerbread houses or baking cookies or sitting around watching movies." 3. "Every year, Santa comes and leaves presents for the kids out in the open. Sometimes Santa likes to wrap a couple of them but usually he leaves them open so the kids can see what they are.” 4. "My family watches the same three movies every Christmas and it kills my husband. He likes Die Hard, my son is obsessed with Les Miserables and my choice is Home Alone." 5. "What we've started doing is taking our children each Christmas or New Year's on an experience instead of just buying them things.” 6. "Every year we eat Yorkshire pudding on Christmas morning and it's pretty awesome."
  • 5. 5 Adapted from Sutton, S. (2018). 7. "So far, our tradition is no presents for the kids." Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher Hilarie BurtonBrooke Shields Kate Hudson Nick Jonas Blake Lively Chrissy Teigen and John Legend
  • 6. 6 Speaking (10’) – whole class activity Students should choose one of their family’s traditions, write it down and put it in a box. Then, they can take turns to pick one piece of paper and read the tradition aloud, the rest of the class has to try to find whose tradition it is. KEY 1. "Christmas Day is more like order McDonald's and go to the movies." (Chrissy Teigen and John Legend) 2. "It's really about being with family so we never leave the house, whether we're making gingerbread houses or baking cookies or sitting around watching movies." (Blake Lively) 3. "Every year, Santa comes and leaves presents for the kids out in the open. Sometimes Santa likes to wrap a couple of them but usually he leaves them open so the kids can see what they are. (Kate Hudson) 4. "My family watches the same two movies every Christmas and it kills my husband. He likes Die Hard, My son is obsessed with Les Miserables.” (Hilarie Burton) 5. "What we've started doing is taking our children each Christmas or New Year's on an experience instead of just buying them things.” (Brooke Shields) 6. "Every year we eat tamales on Christmas morning and it's pretty awesome." (Nick Jonas) 7. "So far, our tradition is no presents for the kids," (Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher)
  • 7. 7 2. Let’s do some cooking Level: A2 Flyers & A2 Key / B1 Preliminary Skills: speaking, reading, writing, listening Interaction: whole class and in groups activity Content: food and cooking vocabulary Equipment and materials: internet, speakers, screen, recording device*, scissors, paper Time: 80 minutes Warm up (10’) – whole class activity • Is there any food that you typically eat at Christmas? • If so, what is it? • Do you like cooking? Why (not)? • What is your favourite dish? • Do you have a sweet tooth? What do you think this idiom means? Reading (15’) – groups of 3 / 4 Divide your students into groups of three or four. Make as many copies of the recipe as groups of students you have. Assign one classroom wall or area in the wall to each group. Cut out the different steps of the recipe and stick them to your classroom walls or areas (not in the correct order). Students should name one or two scribes and two messengers. Assign a desk to each group. The messengers will have to go to their wall, read the different steps of the recipe and dictate it to the scribes. Once they have all the steps they will have to put them in the correct order.* *If you are teaching online you can create different Padlets for the different groups and the students in each group will have to work together to put the steps in the correct order. Pre-heat the oven to 190C / 170C fan. Line 3 baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
  • 8. 8 Measure the flour, and add it to a large mixing bowl. Weigh the butter then chop it up into a few pieces before adding it to the flour. Using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Measure the sugar then stir it into the flour mixture with the bicarbonate of soda and ginger. Add the golden syrup. Crack the egg into a separate bowl then add it to the flour. Mix everything together until you have a smooth dough. The recipe makes quite a lot so, if you need to, divide the dough in half then roll out one half on to a lightly floured work surface until it’s about 5mm thick.
  • 9. 9 Vocabulary (15’) – groups of 3 / 4 In the same groups ask students to create posters or boxes on their Padlet with the following semantic fields: Cut out your gingerbread men using a cutter or use any other shapes you have to hand. Place them on your baking tray. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until they become a slightly darker shade. If your shapes are smaller, check them after 7-8 minutes. Cool slightly then lift on to a wire rack to cool. You can enjoy the gingerbread biscuits as they are or add some icing decorations. Cooking verbs
  • 10. 10 Can you find a picture for each of these words? Follow up (20’) – individual activity Aim High! (20’) – Try the gingerbread man recipe at home and record a video tell us about your experience! Cooking utensils Ingredients Your school is running a Christmas cooking competition. You should write the recipe of your favourite dish and post it on the school blog. The most original one will receive an invitation to eat at the Master Chef restaurant in Madrid.
  • 11. 11 KEY INGREDIENTS • 350 g plain flour • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda • 2 tsp ground ginger • 100 g butter • 175 g light muscovado sugar • 4 tbsp golden syrup • 1 large egg For the decoration • 1/2 cup icing sugar • smarties, jelly tots etc 1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C / 170C fan. 2. Line 3 baking sheets with greaseproof paper. 3. Measure the flour, and add it to a large mixing bowl. 4. Weigh the butter then chop it up into a few pieces before adding it to the flour. Using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. 5. Measure the sugar then stir it into the flour mixture with the bicarbonate of soda and ginger. Add the golden syrup. 6. Crack the egg into a separate bowl then add it to the flour. 7. Mix everything together until you have a smooth dough. 8. The recipe makes quite a lot so, if you need to, divide the dough in half then roll out one half on to a lightly floured work surface until it’s about 5mm thick. 9. Cut out your gingerbread men using a cutter or use any other shapes you have to hand. Place them on your baking tray. 10. Gather up any scraps and roll out again. Repeat with the remaining dough. 11. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until they become a slightly darker shade. If your shapes are smaller, check them after 7-8 minutes. Cool slightly then lift on to a wire rack to cool. 12. You can enjoy the gingerbread biscuits as they are or add some icing decorations.
  • 12. 12 3. Spot the difference Level: Pre-A1 Starters / A1 Movers / A2 Flyers Skills: speaking, writing and listening Interaction: in pairs, whole class, individual activity Equipment and materials: digital board / worksheets Time: 40 minutes Warm up! (10’) – whole class activity Look at this Christmas vocabulary. How many of these words do you know? Put them in the correct category CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS CHRISTMAS CHARACTERS FOOD
  • 13. 13 Look and colour (10’) – individual activity Colour this Christmas tree. Now work with a classmate. Spot the difference (10’) – in pairs Students should work in pairs. Student A says something about their picture and Student B says how their picture is different. Writing (10’) – Individual activity PLACES / PARTS OF THE HOUSE FEELINGS Your school is running a Christmas tree competition. Students can participate posting their Christmas tree and a brief description on the school blog (up to 25 words). The most creative and original Christmas tree will receive a card with some money to donate to a charity of their choice.
  • 14. 14 4. References Cooking with my kids (2020). Easy gingerbread men recipe for kids. [online]. Available at: https://cafemom.com/entertainment/216778-celebrity-christmas-holiday-traditions [Accessed 27th November 2020]. Cottonbro (2019). Two Kids Putting Cream on Pastry. [image/jpeg]. Available at: https://www.pexels.com/photo/two-kids-putting-cream-on-pastry-3171351/ [Accessed 2nd December 2020]. Davies, J. (n.d.) Word Cloud [online]. Available at: https://www.jasondavies.com/wordcloud/ [Accessed 1st December 2020]. Fernandes, R. (2011). 8 things I love about Christmas. The Express Tribune [online]. Available at: https://tribune.com.pk/article/9529/8-things-i-love-about-christmas [Accessed 2nd December 2020]. Guerrero, D. (2018). Person Walks Outdoor during Night. [image/jpeg]. Available at: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-walks-outdoor-during-night-1682528/ [Accessed 2nd December 2020]. Michalou, N. (2020). Woman in White Long Sleeve Shirt Sitting on Chair. [image/jpeg]. Available at: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-white-long-sleeve-shirt-sitting- on-chair-5765736/ [Accessed 2nd December 2020]. Pixabay (2016). Snowy Field during Golden Hour. [image/jpeg]. Available at: https://www.pexels.com/photo/branches-cold-conifers-environment-259620/ [Accessed 2nd December 2020]. Super Coloring (2020). Christmas Tree [online]. Available at: http://www.supercoloring.com/es/dibujos-para-colorear/arbol-de-navidad-con- regalos-2?colore=online [Accessed 27th November 2020]. Sutton, S. (2018). 20 Celebrity Family Christmas Traditions that are Perfect for the Holidays. Cafemom [online]. Available at: https://cafemom.com/entertainment/216778-celebrity- christmas-holiday-traditions [Accessed 2nd December 2020].