5-minute listening: German couple’s 444 Christmas trees has broken a world record

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  • Practise your English with our short listening exercises: play the audio linked below; answer the questions; and check the answers at the bottom of the page
  • This week’s podcast features the home of someone who might just be the world’s biggest Christmas fan
Doris Wai |
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Thomas Jeromin has set a new world record with 444 Christmas trees in his home in Germany. Photo: AP

Click on the video below for the audio (the script has been adapted from Deutsche Presse-Agentur).

Play a Kahoot! game about this podcast as a class or with your friends by clicking on the link here.

Or play on your own below to test your understanding:

Questions

1. What world record has Jeromin broken?
A. most Christmas trees in one home
B. tallest Christmas tree
C. craziest decorated Christmas tree
D. most number of decorations on a Christmas tree

2. How many trees are in Jeromin’s home this year?
A. 24
B. 420
C. 400
D. 444

3. What does the phrase “plastic evergreens” suggest about the trees?
A. They have flowers all year long.
B. They are popular with children.
C. They are fake.
D. They need a specific type of soil.

4. Which part of Jeromin’s flat does not have a Christmas tree?
A. hallway
B. office
C. bedroom
D. none of the above

5. Why did the Record Institute for Germany visit Jeromin’s flat?
A. to find out where he gets his trees
B. to verify the number of Christmas trees he has
C. to document the different sorts of trees in his flat
D. to take away some of the trees in his collection

6. Which word has a similar meaning to “massive”?
A. gigantic
B. insignificant
C. minuscule
D. important

7. How many lights are needed to light up the Christmas trees?
A. close to 5,000
B. less than 10,000
C. approximately 47,000
D. more than 50,000

8. Why did the Jeromins decide to add more trees this year?
A. They wanted to break a record.
B. They moved to a bigger flat.
C. They got rid of the smaller ones.
D. information not given

9. If something is “unrivalled in number”, nothing else …
A. costs more than it does
B. can match it in terms of quantity
C. surpasses its quality
D. is older than it is

10. According to the podcast, which film inspired the decorations for one of the Jeromins’ Christmas trees?
A. Star Wars
B. The Lion King
C. Batman
D. Frozen

11. What colour are the squeaky ducks on one of the themed Christmas trees?
A. yellow
B. blue
C. orange
D. information not given

12. What is unique about the Jeromins’ largest tree?
A. It is decorated with characters from the Star Wars films.
B. It lights up by itself.
C. It hangs from the ceiling.
D. It is three and a half metres wide.

13. When does Jeromin start assembling the Christmas trees every year?
A. February
B. August
C. November
D. December

14. In total, about how many baubles does Jeromin use on the trees?
A. 720
B. 7,200
C. 72,000
D. 720,000

15. In the past, what could someone experience on a visit to Jeromin’s flat?
A. a guided tour of his themed Christmas trees
B. a free Christmas tree
C. a chance to help him decorate his trees
D. a tour of his attic where he stores rare trees

Susanne and Thomas Jeromin’s bedroom is filled with just a few of their 444 Christmas trees. Photo: Reuters

Answers

1. A
2. D
3. C
4. D
5. B
6. A
7. C
8. D
9. B
10. A
11. D
12. C
13. B
14. C
15. A

Script

Voice 1: Welcome back to another episode of “News Round-up”! We’re kicking off this week’s podcast by talking about Christmas news around the world. In Germany, a man who describes himself as “crazy for Christmas” has broken the world record for the most Christmas trees in one home.

Voice 2: With no less than 444 Christmas trees crowding his flat in the northern German town of Rinteln, Thomas Jeromin has set up and decorated plastic evergreens all over his home – in the hallway, bedroom, office and virtually every free space.

Voice 1: The Record Institute for Germany visited the 55-year-old and his wife, Susanne in their home early this month to certify the massive collection as a new world record for “most decorated Christmas trees in one place”.

Voice 2: Jeromin, 55, says he needs some 47,000 Christmas lights to illuminate all the trees in the 100-square-metre flat he shares with his wife. And this is a tradition the couple has been keeping up for a while now. In 2021, the Jeromins had 420 trees, and this year, they added 24 more.

Voice 1: Not only are the trees unrivalled in number, but they’re also themed. One is dedicated exclusively to Star Wars decorations, while another only features squeaky ducks, and another is decked out with adorable yellow Minion characters from the Despicable Me films. He even has one tree – his largest, at a height of three and a half metres – that hangs from the ceiling.

Voice 2: Jeromin says he needs to start moving his trees from the attic by August every year. After all, he has some 72,000 baubles to hang before Christmas! When there isn’t a pandemic going on, he also offers guided tours of his Christmas wonderland.

Voice 1: Galleries and cultural spaces are mostly open in Germany even in the midst of a fourth wave of coronavirus infections. However, given the sheer number of Christmas trees in this flat, there is simply not enough space for visitors to follow current regulations. You just can’t keep a distance with all these trees around!

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