(N.B. For students from countries, families or communities where Christmas is not celebrated,
most of these questions can be applied to their traditional festivals, whether religious or secular, instead)
Do you celebrate Christmas / New Year? On what date(s)? (If not) What festivals do you have in your country/religion? When are they?
Do you send greetings cards to your friends, relatives, colleagues, etc.?
Do you decorate your home? How? (with lights, trees, etc.)?
Do you give presents?
At what time of day (morning/evening,etc.) does your family give presents?
Do you eat special foods at Christmas / New Year?
Do you eat at home? Who cooks? Is the food always the same, or is it different each year?
How important is the New Year holiday for you?
Who do you spend New Year’s Eve with? And New Year’s Day? What do you usually do?
Some people love the Christmas/New Year holiday period and look forward to it. Others find it depressing. How do you feel about it?
Will you have a holiday from work/school at Christmas/New Year period? How long?
Some people like to prepare for Christmas (buying presents, etc.) in advance. Do you?
Where do you usually spend Christmas? Do you usually spend it with your family?
Do you see only your immediate family, or also your extended family?
What exactly do you/your family do at Christmas?
What meals are “special” during the Christmas period? What do you eat at each meal?
Do you attend religious ceremonies? (When? Where? What happens? Who with?)
Do you sing songs? Watch TV? Visit relatives? Other things?
What presents did you give/receive last year?
What are you going to give to your friends / relatives this year?
What do you think you will receive?
Many organisations organise parties or meals for their staff/members. Do you attend many parties at this time of year? Which ones? Do you enjoy them? Why (not)?
What was the best present you ever gave /received at Christmas?
Are there any rituals associated with giving presents in your family? (i.e. the arrival of Father
Christmas, filling a stocking, sitting around a Christmas tree, etc.)
What memories do you have of Christmas when you were a child?
Do you think today’s children receive too many gifts?
Some people think that “Christmas has become too commercial” or that “the spirit of Christmas has been lost”. Do you agree?
Are there any special traditions associated with New Year? (i.e. wearing particular clothes, singing particular songs)
Do you ever throw a party? Do you stay up until midnight? Do you let off fireworks?
Some people make “New Year’s resolutions” (i.e. promise to give up smoking, lose weight, etc.). Do you do this? For example?
Are you successful in keeping to your resolutions?