Christmas gift alternatives 不一樣的聖誕禮物

to give or not to give

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聖誕期間,家人和朋友之間會互贈禮物,表達愛意。可是在收到的禮物中,究竟有多少是實用的、是收禮者真正需要或想要的?本期《隨身英語》討論不同種類的聖誕禮物和近年來逐漸流行的“體驗式禮物”,幫你用更貼心的方式送出聖誕祝福。

課文內容

Vocabulary: gifts 詞匯: 禮物

It’s that time of year when many of us spend money buying gifts for family and friends. We spend hours, even days, searching the shops and websites trying to find the right present for someone – a pair of socks, perfume, a new gadget – only to find the recipient already has it or they’ve been given it already. Or worse, they just don’t like it, which makes me think, “Are we wasting our time and money?”

There is so much stuff in the world already and so much waste that maybe when it comes to Christmas giving, we need to think outside the box – use our imagination and be more creative with our generosity. This is particularly true for children, who tend to receive mountains of toys some of which end up not even being looked at. One idea is to implement a ‘one-gift’ rule so that children don’t grow up spoiled. Getting too many gifts can also send out the wrong message. Speaking to BBC online, clinical psychologist Linda Blair says, “When we are given a lot, we expect to receive a lot… even if it’s only at Christmas and on birthdays, it will impact on children’s attitudes.” She also suggests, “If you want to give a gift, give your time”. 

She makes a good point – for children and adults alike, when it comes to giving, think about offering something other than a material object that may get forgotten, discarded or re-gifted.  Buying an experience is one alternative – a chance for someone to try something out and do something different. It will cost you money, but for the recipient it could be an opportunity to try something they could not normally afford or would not have thought about doing. It would therefore be memorable and, hopefully, much appreciated.

Another practical gift could be to buy someone lessons, giving them a chance to learn new skills such as horse riding or learning English. And there are what are called ‘favours‘ – money-can’t-buy offerings to do jobs for someone like babysitting, cleaning or giving someone a massage. And there is always the fallback of giving vouchers to spend in a shop.

Of course, if you can’t think of an original way to give a gift, the alternative is to not buy anything at all. You may be accused of being a ‘Scrooge‘ but at least you’re not wasting money on pointless gifts and you could give the money to charity instead – a more worthy cause. But if this year, you receive a present that’s not to your liking don’t be ungrateful and remember the age-old saying that ‘it’s the thought that counts‘.

詞匯表

recipient 收禮人
to think outside the box 跳出傳統的思維框架
generosity 慷慨,大方
implement 實施,實行
spoiled 寵壞了的
material object 實質的物品
re-gift 將收到的禮物轉贈給他人
experience 體驗型禮品
memorable 難忘的
appreciated 受喜愛的
practical 實用的
favour 幫助,善意行為
money-can’t-buy 金錢買不到的(東西)
fallback 應變的,退一補的
voucher 代金券,票券
original 獨創的,新穎的
Scrooge 吝嗇鬼
pointless 空洞、無意義的
worthy cause 有價值的事情               
it’s the thought that counts 情意更重要

測驗與練習

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. Why can getting too many gifts send out the wrong message?

2. How much does it cost to buy ‘a favour’?

3. True or false? An experience is something you have to share with someone.

4. Why might giving money to charity be a good idea at Christmas?

5. Which word used in the article, means ‘thrown away because it’s no longer wanted’?

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處。

1. I was impressed by his ______ when he offered to buy us all dinner at a top-quality restaurant.

generous       generosity       genius       generosing

2. We’re going mountain walking so we need to wear clothes that are ______ rather than fashionable.

memorable       spoiled       practical       original

3. If my car doesn’t start in the morning, we can use the train as a ______ to get to the airport.

fallback       experience       favour       worthy cause

4. He only bought me a small gift for my birthday, but it’s the ______ that counts.

thoughts       thinking       though       thought

5. Everyone’s buying the usual wedding presents but I want to buy something ______.

pointless       re-gifted       generosity       original

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. Why can getting too many gifts send out the wrong message?
According to clinical psychologist Linda Blair, when we are given a lot, we expect to receive a lot – so we get used to getting lots of gifts.

2. How much does it cost to buy ‘a favour’?
Nothing. A favour involves you offering to do something for someone for free.

3. True or false? An experience is something you have to share with someone.
False. An experience is something you can buy for someone but you don’t necessarily have to do it with them.

4. Why might giving money to charity be a good idea at Christmas?
It means you don’t waste your money on buying pointless or unwanted gifts.

5. Which word used in the article, means ‘thrown away because it’s no longer wanted’?
Discarded

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處。

1. I was impressed by his generosity when he offered to buy us all dinner at a top-quality restaurant.

2. We’re going mountain walking so we need to wear clothes that are practical rather than fashionable.

3. If my car doesn’t start in the morning, we can use the train as a fallback to get to the airport.

4. He only bought me a small gift for my birthday, but it’s the thought that counts.

5. Everyone’s buying the usual wedding presents but I want to buy something original.

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