"How Many More Minutes Until Christmas?"

《查理和罗拉》我真的很忙 I'm really busy!

It is officially Autumn or Fall now and besides changing my gears to suit the Fall season, I am also featuring some seasonal recipes and vocabulary related to the seasons. I chanced upon 查理和罗拉 Charlie And Lola and in the dvd volume Eight is the theme about the countdown to Christmas. I really like this Clarice Beans Series by Lauren Child titled "How Many More Minutes Until Christmas?" and this episode about "I'm really busy!"

very busy

My 4-year old recently attended the first time to an International nursery school and the first item she has lost is her sunglasses. Young children could lose things very easily but I want to know how she overcome these feelings (be it is really gone or she could find it one day from the 'Lost and Found' box). 

She's just beginning to learn about losing something. Actually she doesn't have a sense of it. I wonder a lot about how she will try to be more alert or more careful the next time in terms of taking care of her own possessions. She needs to start learning somehow.

In this Episode 53, Lola cannot wait until Christmas. Besides counting down with her brother Charlie using the advent calendar, there are some 'magical moments'. In this story, Lola has mixed up her card for Father Christmas Santa Claus with her card that is for Lotta (her good friend). She was pretty upset. 

What I really like about this story is they made their own door on the calendar which was found missing instead of just crying. They met the magic Elves in the North Pole and had a really 'fun time' solving the problems of the lack of wrapping paper. The other highlight of this animation series is Lola has an imaginary friend Lorensen 罗伦森 who is always in monochrome and translucent. Lorensen hates mushrooms :)

The theme tunes and jingles and music of this animation is also very lively and fun!

NEW WORDS Some fun thematic words to learn:

Intermediate Writing Practice:
If you would like to write these thematic vocabulary:

Shèngdàn jié



shèngdàn lǎogōnggōng
Santa Claus

shèngdàn yuèlì
Advent Calendar





Be it for Homeschooling or self-taught practice of the Chinese Characters writing, there is a good grid online tool that is very easy to use:


Hanzi Grid

Basic features:
  • Text content - supports traditional and simplified characters 
  • Repeated characters per row, or a single block of continuous text.
  • Cell size
  • Row and column spacing
  • Font size within the cell
  • Guidelines for each cell
  • Dimming levels for both characters and guides
  • Mixture of dimmed/non-dimmed characters
  • Page size/layout (A4/Letter, portrait/landscape).
  • Page headings
Just click a button and it all gets saved as a PDF file.

It's pretty simple to operate, just type in whatever characters you want (or leave that field blank), then adjust the various sliders so the grid has the size/layout you like. Then just click 'Generate PDF' to create a PDF file which you can download and then print out whenever you need to practice your handwriting.


NihaoHello aims to cater to the new generation's growing interest to learn Mandarin Chinese. Homeschool and specialise in tutoring English speakers to speak essential but confident Mandarin Chinese. For beginner language learners to readily put to use as soon as the global recession recovers.