The Best Christmas Present in the World – NCERT Solutions

Q. What did the author find in a junk shop?

Ans. The author found an old roll-top desk in a junk shop. It was made of oak wood in the early 19th century.

Q. What did he find in a secret drawer? Who do you think had put it in there?

Ans. He found a tin box containing a letter in it. The note on the box said that it was Jim’s last letter received on 25th Jan, 1915. The receiver of the letter, Mrs. Macpherson must have kept the letter in the box.

Q. Who had written the letter, to whom, and when?

Ans. Jim had written the letter for Connie when he was in war.

Q. Why was the letter written — what was the wonderful thing that had happened?

Ans. The letter was written by Jim to share with his wife a pleasant incident that had occurred during the war. In the midst of the war, the soldiers of the two enemy countries fighting the war, i.e. The British and the German soldiers came together to celebrate Christmas. They shared their foods and drinks and played with each other.

Q. What jobs did Hans Wolf and Jim Macpherson have when they were not soldiers?

Ans. Hans Wolf was a cello player in the Orchestra and Jim was a school teacher from Dorset when they were not soldiers.

Q. Had Hans Wolf ever been to Dorset? Why did he say he knew it?

Ans. Hans Wolf had never been to Dorset. He said this because he had learned all he knew of England from school and from reading books in English.

Q. Do you think Jim Macpherson came back from the war? How do you know this?

Ans. No, Jim never came back from the war because we see Connie waiting till the end of her life for him to come back and read that last letter to her. Her wait never ended. Jim probably died during the war.

Q. Why did the author go to Bridport?

Ans. The author went to Bridport to meet Mrs. Macpherson and hand over Jim’s letter to her.

Q. How old was Mrs. Macpherson now? Where was she?

Ans. Mrs. Macpherson was hundred and one years old. She was in a nursing home.

Q. Who did Connie Macpherson think her visitor was?

Ans. Connie Macpherson thought that her visitor was Jim, her husband.

Q. Which sentence in the text shows that the visitor did not try to hide his identity?

Ans. The following sentence showed that the visitor did not try to hide his identity: “I found this. I think it’s yours.”

Q. For how long do you think Connie had kept Jim’s letter? Give reasons for your answer?

Ans. Connie had kept Jim’s letter till her old age because she was waiting for Jim to come and read the letter to her.

Q. Why do you think the desk had been sold, and when?

Ans. The desk was not in good condition. Perhaps it was sold after Connie’s home caught fire and she was taken to the nursing home.

Q. Why do Jim and Hans think that games or sports are good way of resolving conflicts? Do you agree?

Ans. Jim and Hans thought that games or sports are good ways of resolving conflicts because no one dies in a game or sport and no children will be orphaned and no wives become widows. I agree with what they think.

Q. Do you think the soldiers of the two armies are like each other, or different from each other? Find evidence from the story to support your answer.

Ans. I think the soldiers of the two armies are like each other because they shared their drinks, sausage (meat), sang and even played football match together.

Q. Mention the various ways in which the British and the German soldiers become friends and find things in common at Christmas.

Ans. The British and the German soldiers became friends by sharing smoking, laughing, talking, drinking and eating and by sharing Christmas cake. All these things were common between them.

Q. What is Connie’s Christmas present? Why is it “the best Christmas present in the world”?

Ans. Jim’s letter is Connie’s Christmas present. It is the best Christmas present in the world for her because she loved Jim very much. Although he never came back, she had kept the letter very carefully till her old age.

Q. Do you think the title of this story is suitable for it? Can you think of any other title(s)?

Ans. I think the title of this story is apt and suitable. Other title can be “Jim’s present for Connie”.

Q. Read the passage below and underline the verbs in the past tense.

A man got on the train and sat down. The compartment was empty except for one lady. She took her gloves off. A few hours later the police arrested the man. They held him for 24 hours and then freed him.

Answer

A man got on the train and sat down. The compartment was empty except for one lady. She took her gloves off. A few hours later the police arrested the man. They held him for 24 hours and then freed him.

Q. Fill in the blanks using the correct form of the verbs in brackets.

My little sister is very naughty. When she ________ (come) back from school yesterday, she had _______ (tear) her dress. We ________ (ask) her how it had ________ (happen). She ________ (say) she ________ (have, quarrel) with a boy. She _________ (have, beat) him in a race and he ________ (have, try) to push her. She _________ (have, tell) the teacher and so he __________ (have, chase) her, and she ____________ (have, fall) down and ________ (have, tear) her dress.

Answer

My little sister is very naughty. When she came back from school yesterday, she had torn her dress. We asked her how it had happened. She said she had quarreled with a boy. She had beaten (have, beat) him in a race and he had tried to push her. She had told the teacher and so he had chased her, and she had fallen down and had torn her dress.

Q. Underline the verbs and arrange them in two columns, Past and Earlier past.

  1. My friends set out to see the caves in the next town, but I stayed at home, because I had seen them already.
  2. When they arrived at the station, their train had left. They came back home, but by that time I had gone out to see a movie!
  3. So they sat outside and ate the lunch I had packed for them.
  4. By the time I returned, they had fallen asleep!
PastEarlier past

Answer

  1. My friends set out to see the caves in the next town, but I stayed at home, because I had seen them already.
  2. When they arrived at the station, their train had left. They came back home, but by that time I had gone out to see a movie!
  3. So they sat outside and ate the lunch I had packed for them.
  4. By the time I returned, they had fallen asleep!
PastEarlier past
set out, stayedhad seen
arrived, came backhad left, had gone
sat, atehad packed
returnedhad fallen

Q. Find these phrasal verbs in the story.

burn out, light up, look on, run out, keep out

Write down the sentences in which they occur, consult a dictionary and write down the meaning that you think matches the meaning of the phrasal verb in the sentence.

Answer

  1. Sentence: ‘House number 12 turned out to be nothing but a burnedout shell ……: Meaning: destroyed by fire.
  2. Sentence: ‘That was the moment her eyes lit up with recognition, and her face……: Meaning: brightened.
  3. Sentence: ‘Hans Wolf and I looked on and cheered, clapping our hand ……..: Meaning: considered somebody to be somebody.
  4. Sentence: The time came, and all too soon when the game was finished, the schnapps and the run and the sausage had long since run out, and we knew it was all over. Meaning: become used up, finished
  5. Sentence: Hans Wolf and I looked on and cheered clapping our hands and stamping our feet, to keep out the cold as much as anything. Meaning: to avoid

Q. The table below contains a list of nouns and some adjectives. Use as many adjectives as you can to describe each noun. You might come up with some funny descriptions!

NounAdjective
elephantcircular, striped, enormous, multicoloured, round, cheerful, wild, blue, red, chubby, large, medium-sized, cold
face
building
water

Answer

NounAdjective
elephantenormous, striped, wild, large
faceround, cheerful, chubby
buildingmulti-colored, blue, red, large, medium-sized
waterblue, cold

Q. In groups discuss whether wars are a good way to end conflicts between countries. Then present your arguments to the whole class.

Ans. War means bloodshed, hate and destruction. It shows the animalism in man. Even the animals fight for some sound reason. But nations go to war to settle some petty dispute or in the name of religion. War solves no problem. Understanding alone can end differences. All religions condemn greed and bloody quarrels. Let us learn this great lesson from history.

Q. What kind of presents do you like and why? What are the things you keep in mind when you buy presents for others? Discuss with your partner. (For example, you might buy a book because it can be read and reread over a period of time.)

Ans. Personally I am against the practice of exchanging expensive gifts. A rose or a token of affection suits every person and every pocket. This is why some guests offer bouquets or greeting cards alone. In case the gift is essential, it should satisfy some need and have utility. When I go to buy a present, I first take into account the liking of my classmate, relative or girl/boy friend.

Q. Imagine that you are Jim. You have returned to your town after the war. In your diary record how you feel about the changes you see and the events that occur in your town.

25 December, 1919

It’s Christmas today, but the town looks very much different from what I had imagined. It has been ravaged by war. Buildings are in ruins and there is graveyard silence. My own house burnt when it was hit by a bombardment. The events of war have taken a toll of civilians as well as soldiers. I hate the fighting instinct in us and curse the war makers (monger). Can’t we live in peace like brothers?

Q. Suppose you are the visitor. You are in a dilemma. You don’t know whether to disclose your identity and disappoint the old lady or let her believe that her dear Jim has come back. Write a letter to a friend highlighting your anxiety, fears and feelings.

12-A, Block 4,
Dorset

August 10, 2009

Dear Smith

I am in a dilemma. It seems to be insolvable. I, therefore, seek your help in making a decision.

You know I had purchased an old desk. Inside it I got a box containing an old letter. It was written by Jim, a British soldier, to his wife. I decided to deliver that letter to Mrs. Jim at Briport.

I reached her house. She was 101 years old. When I gave her the letter, her eyes lit up. She thought I was her long lost husband Jim, who had come home to keep his promise. She was excited and she kissed me. She didn’t listen to what I tried to tell her about my identity.

I don’t know whether or not I should tell who I am. I only walked away from her quickly.

Your Friend

Robin

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