Biden, family attend Christmas tree lighting on Nantucket

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. meltdown / ˈmɛltˌdaʊn / (n.) – an occasion when a person becomes very upset and cannot deal with a problem or situation

    My daughter is having a meltdown because I didn’t buy her ice cream.

  2. perch / pɜrtʃ / (v.) – to sit on top of something high

    The bird perched on a branch of a tree.

  3. meander / miˈæn dər / (v.) – to walk without a specific direction

    We spent the afternoon meandering around the mall.

  4. hitch / hɪtʃ / (n.) – an issue that causes a short delay

    The program continued after a few technical hitches.

  5. a cappella / ˌɑ kəˈpɛl ə / (adj.) – sung without any musical instruments

    The a cappella group performed three songs at the concert.


Read the text below.

The Biden family’s tradition of eating lunch, shopping and watching a Christmas tree lighting in downtown Nantucket became mostly about keeping the president’s 2-year-old grandson from having a meltdown.

There was President Joe Biden’s daughter, Ashley, dancing and clapping with nephew Beau to “Jingle Bell Rock” to keep him entertained as they waited with the crowd that had gathered for the 48th annual tree lighting ceremony on Main St.

There was Beau perched on the shoulders of his dad, Hunter Biden.

There was Beau being carried by his father, then not being carried by his father, then appearing to say things that suggested he wanted to get out of the cold and intermittent heavy rain.

Beau’s grandfather walked with him at various points.

Every member of the family seemed to be doing whatever they could to keep blond-haired Beau, who is named after his late uncle, happy for a few hours until the tree was lit.

The Bidens have a more than 40-year tradition of spending Thanksgiving on Nantucket, an island off the coast of Massachusetts.

The day after, they go out to lunch — this year, they dined at the Brotherhood of Thieves restaurant. Afterward, they hit Nantucket Bookworks, a nearby bookstore. The president emerged carrying his purchases in a reusable tote bag.

They meandered along downtown Nantucket’s cobblestone streets, going into some stores and window shopping at others. The first lady and Ashley had gotten some of their shopping done earlier, so the spree after lunch was mostly for the president.

Biden spent time inside a leather goods store and a pet store, among other businesses. At one point, he looked through the window of a lingerie store but did not go inside.

“We’re thankful for you,” someone yelled to the president.

The tree lighting ceremony went off with a bit of a hitch. The red, green and blue lights on the tree failed to come on following a countdown from 10.

The high school’s a cappella chorus came out to sing until the problem was solved and the tree was illuminated, ushering in the Christmas season in Nantucket.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • In your opinion, does the Biden family tradition on Nantucket bring them closer to the public? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • What are your family’s traditions on important holidays (ex. New Year’s)? Do you like taking part in family traditions? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • What holiday in your country is celebrated with festivals (ex. Christmas, New Year’s)? What about this celebration do you enjoy the most (ex. there are parades, stores give discounts)? Discuss.
  • What about this celebration do you not enjoy (ex. the streets are crowded)? Discuss.