ESL Christmas Gift Game

What are you getting your mailman for Christmas? Students answer this type of question in our ESL Christmas Gift Game! For beginners, intermediate or advanced students.

When people ask me what I want for Christmas, I always say “socks.” And every year I get some really great socks from my friends. What types of gifts do you give to people? That’s what this ESL Christmas Gift Game is all about. Students will try to make the others guess which present they are giving to a certain person. This was designed for beginners to practice describing people, their likes and dislikes, etc. But I think it could be quite a fun little activity for the more advanced students, too.


How it works

This ESL Christmas Gift Game was designed for online teachers, but can easily be used as a printable, too!

  1. Ask your students to make a list of up to 10 people they are planning to get gifts for this Christmas. Ask for some of them to be outside the family!
  2. Display the PDF and share your screen.
  3. Students take turns choosing a gift on the screen for one of the people on their list. Then, they must describe why they are getting this gift for this person without mentioning the word!
  4. The first student to guess which gift they are going to give earns a point.
  5. Repeat with the next student and play as many rounds as you’d like.
  6. The student with the most points at the end is the winner.

My son really wants an animal, but dogs are very complicated. I don’t want to take care of a dog. I want to make him happy, but I need something easy!

You’re going to get him a cat!



Go further

Once you’ve finished the ESL Christmas Gift Game with your intermediate or advanced students, ask them to come up with a list of bad Christmas gift ideas. They can work in pairs, small groups, or as a class. Make a list of 5-10 bad Christmas gift ideas and then share them with the class. Then, go even further with a bit of reading. Here is a list of bad Christmas gift ideas by category >> Let students read through the categories and come back to see if anything they talked about together made the list. Which of these categories do they think is the absolute worst type of Christmas gift? Why? Which do they disagree with, if any?

And, if you feel comfortable with your group, and they are all adults, you can check out this funny list of horrible Christmas gift stories from Bored Panda >> 18+ ! Have students read through some of them and share with the class which they think was truly the worst!



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Ian Kime

Ian Kime

I have been teaching English abroad since receiving my CELTA certificate in Poland in 2018. I enjoy tracking my individual students’ development but love having lessons with big groups! Now that I teach online, I am accompanied by my sidekicks Olaf, Mała, Pirate and Bandit on a regular basis.

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