The Philanthropist’s Christmas

the philanthropist's christmasJ.W. Linn taught English at the University of Chicago. He wrote a well-known of his famous aunt Jane Addams, but very little fiction. In this story, a rich man who helps people by giving a lot of money to charity learns an important lesson about the real joy of giving when he becomes part of a poor family’s Christmas.

English Learner Vocabulary Help

The words and expressions in our Simplified English story which are not in our Intermediate Level 1800 word list are: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and .

General Comments on the Story

the children's book of Christmas storiesOur story came from “The Children’s Book of Christmas Stories”, published in 1913. The introduction says that the book aims at providing a collection of well-known children’s Christmas stories. It certainly does this, and can be downloaded in various e-book forms from Project Gutenberg here. An audiobook is available from Librivox here.

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(n: biography pl biographies) The story of a real person's life written by someone other than that person. 6000
(n: biographer pl biographers) A person who writes someone's biography. 10000
(n: autobiography pl autobiographies) The story of a person's life written by himself. 6000

air-gun(n: air-gun pl air-guns) A gun that uses air pressure to shoot small pieces of metal.

avenue(n: avenue pl avenues) A wide street, often with trees or tall buildings along either side. 3000
The picture to the left shows Fifth Avenue in New York.

(n: bark pl barks) 1. The outer covering of a tree. 2. The loud sound made by a dog when it is angry or excited.
(v: bark, barks, barked, barking) 1. To make a loud sound like that made by a dog when it is angry or excited. The dog barked at the stranger. 2. To shout or say (something) in a loud and angry way. The captain barked orders to his men. 5000

tree bark barking dog

beg(v: beg, begs, begged, begging) To ask (someone) in a very serious and emotional way to give you something such as food, money, etc., or to do something that you need or want very much.
(n: beggar pl beggars) A person who begs, often for a way of making a living. 2000

charity(n: charity pl charities) 1. An organization set up to collect money for poor or sick people, medical research etc. 2. Kindness, especially in giving money or other things to people who are poor, sick, etc. 2000

cheerful(adj: cheerful) 1. Feeling or showing happiness. 2. Causing good feelings or happiness. 4000

(n: collar pl collars) 1. The part of a piece of clothing at the neck, especially of a shirt, jacket etc. 2. A band of leather, plastic, etc., worn around an animal's neck. 3000

shirt collar dog collar

companion(n: companion pl companions) A person or animal you spend time with or enjoy being with. 5000

(adj: confident) To be certain or very sure about something. 2000
To be a confident person is to be self-assured (sure about your own abilities) and not shy. To be a confident communicator is to be able to speak or write freely, without feeling shy or nervous about making mistakes.

confuse(v: confuse, confuses, confused, confusing) To make someone uncertain or unable to understand something.
(n: confusion pl confusions) The feeling that you have when you do not understand what is happening, what is expected, etc.
(adj: confusing) Difficult to understand; not clear. 2000

embarrass(v: embarrass, embarrasses, embarrassed, embarrassing) To make (a person, group, government, etc.) feel foolish, self-conscious or ashamed about something. 2000

grateful(adj: grateful) Feeling that you want to thank someone because they have given you something or done something for you. 2000

hum(v: hum, hums, hummed, humming) 1. (v) To make a musical sound with your lips closed. 2. To make a low continuous sound. 4000

merry(adj: merry, merrier, merriest) Very happy and cheerful; feeling or showing joy and happiness. 3000

miserable(adj: miserable) 1. Feeling very unhappy, sick or unwell. (ทุกข์ยาก) 2. Very poor in quantity or quality. 3000

misery(n: misery pl miseries) [something that causes] Great suffering or unhappiness; a very unhappy or painful time or experience. The war brought misery to thousands of refugees. The last years of her life were a misery. 3000

overcoat(n: overcoat pl overcoats) A long coat worn over other clothes to keep a person warm during very cold weather. 7000

(n: pause pl pauses) A short period of time in which something stops or is stopped before starting again. 3000

(n: philanthropist pl philanthropists) A rich person who gives money and time to help make life better for other people. 10000

pup(n: pup pl pups) A young dog, especially one less than a year old [also called a puppy]; a young animal of certain other species [such as seals]. 5000

rush(v: rush rushes, rushed, rushing) To move or do something very quickly or in a way that shows you are in a hurry. 2000

scratch(n: scratch pl scratches) A shallow and narrow cut in the skin or a surface caused by something sharp.
(v: scratch, scratches, scratched, scratching) 1. To make a line in a surface or object by rubbing or cutting it with a sharp point. 2. To rub your skin with something sharp to stop an itch. 3000

sew(v: sew, sewed, sewn, sewing) To make or repair something [such as a piece of clothing] by using a needle and thread.
(n: sewing, noncount) 1. The act or process of sewing. I learned sewing at school. 2. Things that are used for sewing or that are being sewn. She took her sewing into the kitchen. 3000

sidewalk(n: sidewalk pl sidewalks) Used in the U.S. and Canada to describe a path along the side of a street for people to walk on. Usually called pavement in the U.K. and footpath in Australia. 5000

slap(v: slaps, slapped, slapping) To hit (someone or something) with an open hand or anything flat. (ตบ) 3000

slum(n: slum pl slums) An area of a city where poor people live and the buildings are in bad condition. (แหล่งเสื่อมโทรม) 5000

sniff(v: sniff, sniffs, sniffed, sniffing) To smell (something or someone) by putting your nose close to it and taking air in through your nose in short breaths. (สูดกลิ่น) 3000

steal(v: steal, steals, stole, stolen, stealing) To take (something) from the owner in a way that is wrong or against the law. (ขโมย) 3000

tune(n: tune pl tunes) A series of musical notes that produce a pleasing sound when played, sung, whistled, etc. (ทำนอง) 2000

whisper(n: whisper pl whispers) A very quiet sound, especially something said. (การกระซิบ; การส่งเสียงเบา ๆ)
(v: whisper, whispers, whispered, whispering) To speak or say something very softly. (กระซิบ) 5000

woof(n: woof pl woofs) The deep sound made by a dog. (โฮ่ง)

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