NCERT Solutions for Class 8 English Chapter 1 The Best Christmas Present in the World

Latest Updated : February 2024

If you are in search of NCERT solutions for Class 8 English Chapter 1 The Best Christmas Present in the World, you have come to the right place. On this page, you will find a comprehensive collection of accurate and reliable solutions specifically designed for Class 8 students studying English with Updated Syllabus by NCERT. Here you will find detailed solution for Chapter 1 The Best Christmas Present in the World. We also provide extra practice questions like grammar , reading and writing etc for you all to boost up your preparation and enhance your understanding about the same. Feel free to bookmark this page for quick and easy access to our

NCERT Solutions for Class 8 English Chapter 1 The Best Christmas Present in the World

NCERT Solutions for Class 8 English Chapter 1 The Best Christmas Present in the World

Class 8 English Chapter 1 The Best Christmas Present in the World

Comprehension Check – Page 10

Answer- The author found a nineteenth-century roll-top desk which was put up for sale in a junk shop. It was in a very bad condition, with scorch marks all down one side and several broken pieces, as one leg was clumsily mended.

Answer- In a secret drawer of the roll-top desk, the author found a small tin box. There was a letter in that box.

There was a piece of lined newspaper pasted on the box. On it, these words were written : “Jim’s last letter received January 25,1915. To be buried with me when the time comes.” This clearly indicated that it was placed there by the addressee. The address on the envelope revealed that it was for Mrs. Jim Macpherson of 12, Copper Breeches Bridport, Dorset.” So Connie, the wife of Jim Macpherson must have put it there.

Comprehension Check Page 14

Answer- Jim Macpherson wrote the letter to his wife, Connie, on the Christmas Eve from the battlefield.

Answer- The letter talks about a strange event that occurred on Christmas Eve on the battlefield. Despite being enemies, both sides celebrated the holiday amid the intensity of the war. They shared German drinks and sausages and even praised each other’s carols. It was a wonderful and unexpected event on the battlefield.

Answer- Jim Macpherson was a school-teacher whereas Hans Wolf used to play a cello in the orchestra.

Answer- No, Hans hadn’t visited Dorset before. He knew about Dorset from school and had read many English books. One of his favorites was ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ by Thomas Hardy.

Answer- No, it appears that Jim Macpherson never returned home from the war. Perhaps, due to this reason his wife Connie had preserved all his letters carefully.

Comprehension Check – Page 15

Answer- The author went to Bridport to meet Connie Macpherson and deliver her a letter. The letter had her address – Mrs. Jim Macpherson, 12 Copper Beeches, Bridport and Dorset. This letter was from her husband, and the author had accidentally opened it and read it.

Answer- Mrs. Macpherson was 101 years old. She was in a Nursing Home situated at Dorchester Road named as Burlington House. The place was on the other side of the town.

Comprehension Check Page 16

Answer- Connie Macpherson thought that the visitor carrying the letter was her husband, Jim Macpherson.

Answer- The sentence ‘I said I was a friend come to visit Mrs. Macpherson to bring her a Christmas present’ shows that the visitor did not try to hide his identity.

Working with the Text

Answer- Connie had kept Jim’s letter for a long time. She got it on January 25, 1915, and Jim wrote it on December 26, 1914. At that time, Jim was a captain in the English army. A captain is always a young man in the army, so Jim and his wife Connie must have been young too. But in the story, Connie is 101 years old. So, the letter must be about 70-75 years old. There are more clues. The table with the letter was found in a junk shop, showing it’s very old.

Answer- The roll-top desk was sold after the house where Mrs. Jim Macpherson lived caught fire. She was taken to the Burlington House Nursing Home. Many things were burned in the fire, so they decided to sell what was left.

Answer- Playing games or sports could be a good way to solve problems between countries or groups because nobody gets killed. It doesn’t leave kids without parents or wives without husbands.I agree to this concept of resolving conflicts. It would be better for the entire humanity.

Answer- The soldiers from both armies are like each other. The story is about how they get along. They greet each other and play football together. They also share food and drinks. The captains of both sides talk kindly about their lives outside of battle. They agree that problems can be solved by playing games instead of fighting. Both sets of soldiers want the war to end so they can go home to their families. So, there’s a lot that they have in common.

Answer- Both the British and German soldiers were enemies in the war, but they were also humans with families and feelings. They celebrated Christmas together, sharing food, drinks, and songs. They talked about characters from a book and played football. They wished that wars could be solved with games instead of fighting. Both Jim and Hans wanted to go home to their families and hated the war.

Answer- When the narrator went to give Connie her husband’s letter, she thought he was her husband, Jim, because of her old age and memory loss.She was looking forward to Jim returning home for Christmas. She felt this was the best Christmas present she could ever receive.

This was the best Christmas present in the world for Connie because Jim had mentioned in the letter that he would return home from the war on Christmas. She used to read that letter multiple times a day to feel her husband’s presence nearby. So, when the narrator shared how he found the letter, Connie was overjoyed and believed Jim had come to see her after a long while.

Answer- I believe the story’s title is fitting and captures its essence perfectly. It highlights the festive atmosphere of Christmas that runs throughout the narrative. It clearly mentions how the warring troops longed for peace and had a strong desire to return home safely to their respective families. They share moments of camaraderie by feasting together, conversing, and playing football. However, when the narrator delivers Jim Macpherson’s letter to Connie, she mistakes him for her husband and thanks him for gifting her the best Christmas present ever.

Some alternative titles could be “A Christmas Miracle” or “The Gift of Christmas Joy”.

Working With Language

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.

  • We use verb forms like had damaged for an event in the ‘earlier past’. If there are two events in the past, we use the ‘had…’ form for the event that occurred first in the past.
  • We also use the past perfect tense to show that something was wished for, or expected before a particular time in the past. For example, I had always wanted one…
  • Discuss with your partner the difference in meaning in the sentences below.
    When I reached the station, the train left.
    When I reached the station, the train had left.

Answer- The first sentence implies that the speaker caught the train, suggesting it departed shortly after their arrival at the station. In contrast, the second sentence indicates that the train was missed, with no indication of its presence upon the speaker’s arrival.

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.


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


(a) My friends set out to see the caves in the next town, but I stayed at home, because I had seen them already.
(b) 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!
(c) So they sat outside and ate the lunch I had packed for them.
(d) By the time I returned, they had fallen asleep!

PastEarlier Past
(a) set out, stayedhas seen
(b) arrived, camehad left, had gone
(c) sat, atehad packed
(d) returnedhad fallen
burn out light uplook onrun out keep out


1. Burn out: “House number 12 turned out to be nothing but a burned-out shell, the roof gaping, the windows boarded-up.”
Meaning- This line implies that the house was destroyed by fire.

2. Light up: “That was the moment her eyes lit up with recognition and her face became suffused with a sudden glow of happiness.” –
Meaning- This line implies that Connie’s face brightened up with happiness.

3. Look on: “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- This line implies that both Jim and Hans watched and cheered each other while playing a football match.

4. Run out: “The time came, and all too soon, when the game was finished, the schnapps and the rum and the sausage had long since run out, and we knew it was all over.” –
Meaning- This line implies that the game was over and so was the fun and food that was all used up.

5. Keep out: “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- This line implies that they tried to avoid the cold by clapping their hands and stamping their feet.

Determiner Modifier 1Modifier 2
Modifier 3
(size, shape, age)
Modifier 4
Modifier 5
Head word

Answer- Read and try doing yourself.


Elephantenormous, wild, large, medium-sized
Faceround, cheerful, chubby
Buildingmedium-sized, red, blue, multicoloured
Waterblue, cold



Discussing whether wars are a good way to end conflicts between countries is a complex and multifaceted topic. While wars have historically been used as a means to resolve conflicts, they often result in immense human suffering, loss of life, and long-lasting social, economic, and environmental consequences. Therefore, it’s crucial to carefully consider the arguments for and against wars as a method of conflict resolution before presenting them to the class.

Arguments in favor of wars as a means to end conflicts may include:

Preservation of sovereignty: Some argue that wars are necessary to defend a nation’s sovereignty and protect its citizens from external threats or aggression. In this view, military force may be the only effective means of deterring or defeating hostile actors.

Historical precedent: Throughout history, wars have sometimes led to significant political changes, territorial adjustments, and the establishment of new international orders. Proponents of war may cite examples where conflicts have resulted in positive outcomes for certain nations or groups.

Resolution of deep-seated disputes: In some cases, diplomatic efforts and negotiations may fail to resolve deeply entrenched conflicts between countries. War, albeit a drastic measure, may be seen as a last resort to bring about a decisive conclusion to such disputes.

Arguments against wars as a means to end conflicts may include:

Humanitarian concerns: Wars often result in widespread human suffering, including civilian casualties, displacement, and trauma. The use of military force can lead to violations of human rights and humanitarian law, undermining the moral legitimacy of armed conflict.

Escalation of violence: Rather than resolving conflicts, wars can escalate violence and perpetuate cycles of retaliation and revenge. Military interventions may exacerbate tensions, fuel extremism, and lead to prolonged instability and insecurity.

Long-term consequences: Wars can have far-reaching and enduring consequences, including economic devastation, environmental degradation, and social upheaval. Rebuilding societies and reconciling divided communities in the aftermath of war can be challenging and costly processes.

Answer- Students are encouraged to express their own perspectives and engage in discussions with their partners at their own convenience.


25 December, 1919
It’s Christmas today, but the town looks…..

Answer –

25 December, 1919

It’s Christmas today, but the town looks vastly different from what I remember. The streets once bustling with life are now eerily quiet, with empty storefronts and boarded-up windows casting a shadow over the holiday cheer. The scars of war are etched into every corner, from the solemn faces of those who returned like myself to the absence of familiar faces lost in battle. As I walk through the familiar streets, I can’t help but feel a pang of sadness for what has been lost and a flicker of hope for what may yet be rebuilt. The war has changed us all, and as I navigate through these transformed streets, I am reminded that our journey towards healing and renewal has only just begun.



Dear Ron,

I’m writing to share a dilemma that’s been troubling me. During my visit to our town, I was mistaken for someone named Jim by an elderly woman. It was a heartwarming yet bittersweet moment as she embraced me, believing her dear Jim had finally returned from the war. Her eyes sparkled with tears of joy, and in that instant, I felt an overwhelming sense of responsibility. When I gave her the letter, her eyes lit up. She thought that I was Jim. She made me sit beside her and kissed me. She said that she had got that day the best Christmas present in the world. I tried to tell her who I was and how I had found her letter. But she was not listening.

I’m torn between revealing the truth and letting her keep her hope alive. It’s a difficult decision, and I’m anxious about causing her pain. Have you ever faced a similar situation? Have you ever encountered a moral dilemma of this nature? How did you navigate through it? Your insights would be greatly appreciated as I try to make sense of this situation.

I eagerly await your response.

Warm Regards,


In the heart of colonial India, a young doctor named Arjun, newly wedded to his beloved Priya, felt the fervor of patriotism course through his veins. Driven by his passion for freedom, he joined the ranks of the freedom fighters, challenging the oppressive British regime.
However, his bold actions caught the attention of the authorities, leading to his exile to the remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where the notorious Cellular Jail stood as a grim reminder of British tyranny.

In the depths of the prison, Arjun witnessed the atrocities inflicted upon his fellow inmates, their spirits battered by relentless torture and despair. Yet, amidst the darkness, a spark of resistance ignited, leading to whispers of rebellion among the prisoners.
Despite their valiant efforts, the revolt was swiftly crushed, and Arjun paid the ultimate price for his defiance, meeting his end at the gallows.

Meanwhile, Priya, faithful and unwavering, waited patiently for her husband’s return, her heart heavy with longing yet buoyed by hope. As the years passed, she aged gracefully, her love for Arjun undiminished by time.
Though her hair turned silver and her steps grew slower, Priya remained steadfast in her belief that one day, Arjun would come back to her. And so, she continued to wait, a beacon of resilience and enduring love amidst the tumult of India’s struggle for independence.

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