1 The words below appear in the text in Exercise 2. Find the words and guess their meanings. Use a dictionary to check your guesses.
1. tube …………………… 3. wrapped ……………………
2. pull apart …………………… 4. package ……………………
2 Read the text. Then answer the questions.
A BRITISH TRADITION AT CHRISTMAS
On Christmas Day, families around Britain eat Christmas lunch together. While they are eating, people wear paper hats. Where do the hats come from? Christmas crackers!
A Christmas cracker is a British tradition. It’s a paper tube inside colourful paper. Two people hold the ends of the cracker and pull it. When the cracker is pulled apart, it makes a loud crack sound. Inside the cracker there’s a paper hat, a small present and a joke on a piece of paper. The same jokes have appeared in Christmas crackers for years, so most people know them.
Christmas crackers were invented in the 1850s by Tom Smith. Tom Smith sold sweets and chocolates. They were wrapped in paper and one day he decided to put a short message in the packages. Many of his sweets were bought by men to give to women, so the messages were usually love poems.
After some time, Smith changed his packages so they made a loud sound. The sweet became a small present and in the 1900s, paper hats were added by Smith’s sons. Later, the love poems were replaced by jokes, and people began calling the crackers Christmas crackers because many people bought them at Christmas. Today, most homes in Britain have got a box of Christmas crackers.
1. What is the connection between Christmas crackers and paper hats?
2. What are Christmas crackers wrapped in?
3. How have Christmas crackers changed since they were first invented? List three differences.
3 Write T (true) or F (false) according to the text in Exercise 2.
1. Paper hats are worn on Christmas Day.
2. Christmas crackers were invented in 1900.
3. In the 1850s, love poems were put inside the crackers.
4. Most of Smith’s sweets are bought by women.
5. Many Christmas crackers are sold in Britain.