Christmas Moscow

Christmas in Moscow




frost letter (2) write/wrote/written
ask version present (3)
ant take care take/took/taken
wish unusual big/bigger/biggest
toy specific make/made/made
list spirit (2) busy/busier/busiest
cheap miracles equivalent
setting expensive come/came/come
half come true spend/spent/spent
twice income preparation
sweet period (3) present (3)
main times (2) buy/bought/bought
quite stall (2) build/built/built
often average set/set/set
end up fairy tale personally
hope note (2) sweeten the deal
deal peak (2) North Pole
deliver grant (2) read/read/read
fresh make sure look forward to


Video: Christmas in Moscow



Ten-year-old Sava Bulgersky is writing a letter to Father Frost, the Russian version of Father Christmas, to ask for a present.

“Hi there, Father Frost.

Can I please have an ant farm? I will take good care of the ants.”

An unusual Christmas wish, even for Detski Mir in central Moscow, Russia’s biggest toy store, which makes children’s wishes list its business.

The New Years holidays are a busy time there.

Alexander Kopanev, Store Manager: “New Years is the main holiday in Russia. Some people look forward to it more than their birthday. It’s a day when miracles can happen, and wishes can come true.”

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But miracles don’t come cheap. This year Russians will spend the equivalent of around three hundred euros, more than half of their average monthly income on holiday preparations, much of it on presents.

Alexander Kopanev, Store Manager: “We get at least twice as many visitors in the store in the New Year’s holiday period. On peak days, four times as many.

It’s adults to who buy the presents, and sometimes they wanted a specific toy as a kid. Quite often adults come to buy gifts for their children — and end up with a toy for themselves.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

A few kilometers away, Izmaylovo Market has stalls built to look like setting of a fairy tale.

Sava Bulgersky and his brother, Fyodor are hoping their wishes will come true here.

They’ve come to deliver their letters to Father Frost personally.

And to sweeten the deal, they’ve decided to give him a musical gift.

Father Frost: “Hohoho! Who’s that playing?

May I have your letters?

‘To Father Frost in the North Pole.’

I will read these and grant all your wishes.”

But the boys want to make sure they’re in Father Frost’s Good Book.

Even if the notes aren’t all right, the Christmas Spirit is.

And with fresh snow outside, it’s hard not to believe that wishes really can come true.

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Birthday Party. In the beginning of the video, Sava was doing his math homework. True or false?

Lunar New Year. Does he want a new smartphone?

Valentine’s Day. Detski Mir sells women’s clothes, shoes, purses, handbags, jewelry, necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets, cosmetics and perfume. Is this right or wrong?

Maslinitsa. Do people spend about 30 dollars during the New Year’s and Christmas holiday?

Carnival. Men and women only buy presents for their children and grandchildren. Is this correct or incorrect?

Easter Holiday. Is the Izmaylovo Market a modern shopping mall?

Mother’s Day. When Sava and Fyodor visited Father Frost, they made videos of him and uploaded them on Instagram and YouTube. Yes or no?

Summer Vacation. Was the main idea of the video business and money, or dreams and wishes?
International Workers’ Day, Labor Day. Does everyone in your city or town celebrate New Years and Christmas?

Thanksgiving. What sort of gifts or items do people give each other during New Years or Christmas?

Halloween. Do some people hate Christmas and New Years? Do some people feel depressed during the winter holiday season?

Christmas. What might happen in the future?

New Years. What could or should people do?

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