Into the Story


episode 20 - Into the story- podcast para aprender inglés - AC inglés

Episode 20: Shauna's Story: Holidays where the Heart is

Nivel de inglés: Intermedio a intermedio alto
Acento: inglés canadiense

Esta semana en nuestro podcast para aprender inglés con historias reales y emocionantes escucharemos los recuerdos de Shauna durante las fechas de Navidad. En el episodio de hoy aprendemos vocabulario relacionado con estas festividades como sleigh y bundle up.

Shauna recuerda cómo celebraba la Navidad en Canadá con su familia y cómo ha cambiado la tradición para ella. Un año más tarde se encuentra en Barcelona y nos cuenta cómo prepara la comida del día 25 retorciendo el pavo para que quepa en el horno. ¡Escuchemos la historia navideña de Shauna y su familia!

 Study & work in Canada

Bree y Raül te ayudan gratis a venirte a Canadá a estudiar y trabajar y así cubrir tus gastos. Let’s go!

Transcripción del Podcast

Bree: Hi everyone. It’s Bree.

Bec: and Bec here from AC Inglés.

Bree: We’re both here today to introduce the last episode of Season 1 of Into the Story!

Bec: The team is taking a short break over Christmas but Season 2 of Into the Story will return in the new year.

Bree: In Season 2, we’ll bring you more exciting travel adventures and also unique stories from everyday life; historias para mejorar tu inglés de forma natural y conocer a gente de todo el mundo.

Bec: Christmas time for me growing up in Australia represented barbecues with family in the backyard or lazy afternoons at the beach playing cricket with my cousins. For our episode today, a very special Christmas edition of Into the story, I spoke to Bree’s mum, Shauna. For her and her family on the other side of the world in Canada, the holidays usually felt much colder and looked a lot different.

In today’s story, Shauna shares her favourite memories of a white Christmas in Canada and how her holiday experience has changed over the years as her children grew up and the family expanded. We’ll hear about Shauna’s first Christmas in Barcelona and the unexpected complications that came with trying to order a Christmas turkey from the local butcher and having people speaking in different languages around the dining table. Shauna’s story reminds us that holiday traditions come in all shapes and sizes. We’re calling today’s episode ‘Holidays where the heart is’.

Before we begin listening, let’s talk about some of the vocabulary and expressions you’ll hear Shauna say:
1. Firstly, a sleigh. A sleigh is a type of vehicle used to travel through snow – un trineo en español. Traditionally a sleigh was pulled by dogs or, in the case of Santa Claus’ sleigh, by reindeers. Today you’ll hear Shauna talking about a sleigh that her children used to visit neighbors and sing Christmas carols – los villancicos de navidad.
2. Next, to get a kick out of something. To get a kick out of something is a phrasal verb that means to get excited about something or to enjoy something very much. For example you could say, ‘I get a kick out of spending Christmas with my family’ or ‘the children get a kick out of putting the star on top of the Christmas tree’. To get a kick out of.
3. To bundle up. To bundle up is a useful phrasal verb for winter time. It’s a phrasal verb that we use to mean dress warmly. We’ll hear Shauna talk about needing to ‘bundle’ up’ before going outside in Canada.
4. To be a whole different ball game. If you hear someone describe something as a whole different ball game, they mean to say that a situation or thing is completely different to what it was before. For Shauna, trying to cook a freshly-caught turkey in Barcelona for the first time was a whole different ball game to what she was used to doing in Canada.
5. And finally to tear up. To tear T-E-A-R up is a phrasal verb to describe the moment that you are about to cry and you have tears appearing in your eyes. You might hear people say that they teared up during a sad movie or that they teared up while listening to their favourite song. Be careful there with the pronunciation difference between ‘tear up’ que significa lagrimear and ‘tear up’ que significa destruir o romper algo en mil pedazos. Both these verbs are pronounced in different ways but are spelt in exactly the same way. Tear up.

Si quieres aprovechar al máximo este episodio visita acingles.com/podcast para bajar la transcripción, vocabulario clave y ejercicios. OK guys, let ‘s get into the story…

Shauna: My name is Shana MacDonald’s and I live in Calgary Canada. It’s where I was born and it’s where I raised my children. We lived on an acreage and so we had four acres of land, we could see the mountains in the background. It would become of this winter wonderland and every Christmas we would plan a sleigh ride. So the kids’ dad would, would build a sleigh and we would have blankets and all our friends would come. We would have hot chocolate and go to the houses and we’d sing carols to our neighbours. And the neighbours loved that and we loved it and the kids got such a kick out of it. And then every year we’d go pick our tree and the kids would come and then we’d set it up. And so decorating the tree with all the traditional ornaments that I started collecting when my oldest Jacqueline was a baby. And so every year I would buy them new decorations that they… I would buy four, one for the house and one for each of the girls and so when they left home they would have this collection of maybe 20 decorations that they could remember. And then every year we had an angel. Each year, one of the kids would get to put the angel on top of the tree and it was a real honor to be able to put the angel up there. There was always this ‘well you did it last year’ ‘no you did it last year’. Once in a while we got it wrong and we actually had to look at the pictures from last year. Friends would come over to do tree decorating and we’d always listen to the Christmas soundtrack by Boney M and so that meant if you had an eggnog in your hand and the Boney M Christmas track was on, it was time to start decorating the tree. It was just a very traditional, idyllic feeling of what christmas is on a postcard.

So my youngest daughter decides that she is going to take a year off of school and she ends up absolutely loving Barcelona and she said, ‘Mum it feels like home’ so that was the start of her journey. Never imagining that this child would move away and start her own traditions.

Bec: With Bree now happy living in Spain, Shauna and the family decided that they would join her and Raül for the holidays!

Shauna: Everyone has a bed but some of them are on the floor and it’s comfortable and it’s beautiful there. We can walk out and we don’t have to bundle up as we do in Canada. And there are night markets and parades or fireworks, people everywhere. They’ve designed games and there’s always the caga tió. So you’ve taken a log, you’ve dressed it up and then you hit it with a stick and out come the gifts. It’s literally pooping out the gifts. We don’t necessarily have to understand one another’s traditions but they are fun.

Bec: Christmas traditions were always a special part of the holidays for Shauna. Everything from tree decorating to the preparation of pumpkin pie and the roast turkey of course.

Shauna: Our food when it came to dinner, it was very specific. Just it meant like it was Christmas now that you were eating these specific recipes, these specific dishes. SO we’re preparing for the day and Raül is being very accommodating. So we’ve asked him to get a turkey. So he went out and they have a butcher in town and he got a turkey. He ordered it. And so the day before I asked him, so what size is the turkey I needed to know so that we could have the right container to cook it in and he said I don’t know. And I said they must know approximately and he said no. Why? It’s because they haven’t even caught him yet. The poor little guy is still running around thinking his life is going to be okay. And so then he goes… they’ve butchered the turkey and he goes to get it whereas in Canada, our turkeys come in a ball. Their legs are tucked up, their wings are tucked up and everything is in neat, little, tidy balls. So Raül comes into the room and it’s this long flat thing, well not flat, but it’s long and it’s wrapped in this stunning paper with a ribbon around it. I’m looking at it. It doesn’t look like a turkey. And so I opened it up and not knowing our tradition, the turkey is flat and his legs are sticking out straight as if he could stand up and so now this is a problem because when something’s been butchered it goes hard. So the legs are hard and not bending. So for us to even get it in the oven we have to tie it up. The wings have to be tied to the legs and the legs have to be slightly bent in order to get it into the oven and we are laughing and wondering this, this is a whole different ball game here. We made it work. We didn’t break his legs. We actually got him into the oven but it was a bit of a challenge. I think it took 3 of us to get him in there so that once he was stuffed and so… it was just funny. It was one of those… this makes it fun.

Bec: The house at this point is full of noise and action as everybody is busy making last-minute preparations for Christmas everyone including Raül’s family are now seated around the table to eat.

Shauna: The sun is streaming, in all the windows are open we can see the ocean. And of course the tree is all decorated with… with new decorations that’s now they have and I have brought some of the decorations from Canada for Breeanne and I’ve found an angel to put on the top of the tree. It’s not the snow-filled idyllic Christmas but it’s so idyllic in its own way. There’s different languages. There’s Spanish and English and not everyone understands but it… we made it work. After we had eaten the sun had set and the windows were open and we heard some singing outside. So we went out on the front balcony and there were four young girls. They must have been teenagers and they were singing carols. They could see that there were all these people in the house and they were singing carols. They were singing in English. They had some carols that they sang in Spanish. And I… I know I teared up because it felt like this full circle gift had come to us. They would have had no idea how they had brought Canada home to us and in a new and special way walking around just singing to people.

So it was no different than, I guess, us being in our sleigh in Canada but it was so different and so precious. It was Christmas. It was the smells. It was family. And it’s a new family and it’s a new location and there’s no Santa. There’s a log under the tree. It doesn’t have to be snowfield rides in the mountains with sleigh rides. It could be turkeys with straight legs and girls singing in the streets and why should, why should one be better than the other.

Bree: Since that Christmas in Barcelona, my mom has brought Catalan traditions home to Canada. She loves telling her friends about the log that poops presents for children. And for me, continuing with the traditions that my parents started, makes Christmas feel like Christmas, especially when I can’t be with them for the holidays. This year, we have an angel on top of our Christmas tree, caga tió sitting under it and Raul will order the Christmas turkey, with clear instructions so that we can fit it in the oven!

Bree: Si aún no lo has hecho suscribete a Into the Story en Spotify, iTunes o tu plataforma preferida.

Bec: Gracias a cada uno de vosotros por vuestro apoyo y por hacer todo esto posible. To all of our lovely listeners, we wish you a very merry holiday season and a happy new year.

Bree: And as always, until next time we hope you have a good time, or at least, a good story to tell.

Quote of the episode

‘If you had an eggnog in your hand and the Boney M Christmas track was on, it was time to start decorating the tree. It was just a very traditional, idyllic feeling of what christmas is on a postcard’

Bundle up

La expresión que hemos escogido para el último episodio de esta temporada de Into the Story es… bundle up!

‘Bundle up’ es un phrasal verb que tiene dos significados principales en inglés. Por un lado, bundle up significa abrigarse. En la historia de hoy, Shauna nos habla del frío que hacía en invierno en Canadá y como se abrigaba bien antes de salir de la casa. Podríamos decir, ‘Make sure to bundle up before going outside in the snow!’ asegúrate de abrigarte bien antes de salir fuera en la nieve!

Por otro lado, si alguien dice bundle something up esto significa que recoger alguna cosa. Como por ejemplo, si decimos ‘bundle up the toys’ recoge los juguetes o ‘bundle up the dirty clothes on your bedroom floor’ recoge la ropa sucia del suelo de tu cuarto.
En este episodio, Shauna compara la Navidad invernal en Canadá con su experiencia en España, donde hace más calor y la Navidad se celebra de manera distinta. Veamos cómo usa bundle up para describir su nuevo entorno en Barcelona:

‘it’s comfortable and it’s beautiful there [in Barcelona]. We can walk out and we don’t have to bundle up as we do in Canada. And there are night markets and parades or fireworks, people everywhere.’

Learning materials

We hope you enjoyed today’s episode of Into The Story. Si quieres seguir avanzando con tu inglés y formar parte de la AC family, apúntate a la newsletter rellenando el formulario de aquí abajoWe can’t wait to see you there!  

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