Lesson Plan: How to make gravy

Lesson Plan: How to make gravy

What do you think might be difficult about writing an Australian Christmas song? How do you think a Southern Hemisphere Christmas might be different from a Northern Hemisphere one?

Listen to this audio: What sort of Christmas does the song describe?


Are the following sentences true or false?

  • The song doesn’t have a chorus
  • Paul Kelly’s family Christmases generally involve a lot of people.
  • The story of the song is mostly true
  • Paul Kelly invented the gravy recipe
  • Paul Kelly wrote it to be a sad song
  • He thinks people have mixed feelings about Christmas


Match the two halves of the sentences.

Christmas is a time of togetherness.it was released more than 20 years ago.
It’s become a kind of Christmas anthem in Australia sinceon my family Christmases.  
It’s kind of based roughlyall the little foibles and annoyances they have with each other.  
The recipe for the song comesfrom my ex-wife’s father-in-law.  
It’s stressful – families getting together andIt can be hard to be far away from loved ones.  

Discussion: What can be enjoyable or difficult about Christmas, in your opinion?


What things do the family in the song do on Christmas day, according to the song? How does the singer of the song feel?

Who are the following people? Match them with their descriptions.

Dan, Joe, Stella, Rita, Roger

  • The singer’s brother.
  • Someone the singer doesn’t get along well with
  • The singer’s partner
  • The singer of the song
  • Someone who lives in a different part of the country


What do the following lines mean, in the context of the song?

  • If I get good behaviour, I’ll be out of here by July.
  • They say it’s gonna be a hundred degrees, even more maybe, but that won’t stop the roast.
  • Do you remember the last one? What was his name again? Ahh, just a little too much cologne.
  • And don’t forget a dollop of tomato sauce for sweetness and that extra tang.
  • And Roger, you know I’m even gonna miss Roger, ‘cause there’s sure as hell no one in here I want to fight.
  • And you’ll dance with Rita, I know you really like her. Just don’t hold her too close. Oh, brother, please don’t stab me in the back.


Who are the people who generally come to your family Christmases? Do they generally get along? Do they have any differences? What do they like to do? Who generally cooks what?

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