Podcast transcript, Dec. 5, 2020
A – Hello and welcome to WoW!, the positive podcast! Showing kids that there’s a lot more to the world news than bad news.
I’m Alastair. As a journalist, I’ve often written about things going wrong. But people also need to know too about what’s going right.
This week, Clarisse and I are getting ready for the holidays and the season of giving…
C – Hello Alastair. So, you’re already thinking of Christmas? It’s still three weeks away!
A – It is, Clarisse, but it’s definitely time to think of presents that need to be sent. And, you know, here in Belgium children will be getting presents already on Sunday, December 6th.
C – Really! Because they just can’t wait???
A – Ha, not quite, Clarisse. But here in Belgium we celebrate Saint Nicholas Day on the 6th and that’s when children get presents – though some are also lucky enough to get something for Christmas Day on the 25th too.
C – Saint Nicholas…?
A – Yes, Saint Nicholas. You might know him in France as Père Noël, or Father Christmas. People who speak Dutch here call Saint Nicholas Sinterklaas – who we in English call Santa Claus. And he goes out and about on the 6th of December, giving presents to children – at least to those who’ve been good for the past year.
C – I like the sound of TWO Christmases! Now I’m really getting in the mood. And I need to start thinking of presents…
A – Yes it’s time Clarisse, And tell me, are you thinking about the presents that people might give you? Is that what’s getting you excited?
C – Hm, you know, not really. Of course, it’s nice to get a lovely surprise from people you love. But I’m really getting excited about finding and making things for the people I love.
A – That’s interesting you say that, Clarisse, because I’ve been talking to some children who find it the same. Of course, we all like getting something nice, but how much nicer is it to offer something to someone else and to see them break into a big smile because you’ve thought about them and figured out how to please them!
C – Yes! I guess that’s something that might be different this year…
A – Yes that’s true, Clarisse, a lot of us won’t see all the people we’re used to seeing in the holidays – though the good news is that we think life will be able to get back to normal well before next Christmas. But even if we don’t see people getting the presents we’ve given them, it’s still a great feeling. And that’s what Leina and her friend Maya have been getting ready for already.
C – OK. So who are they giving presents to?
A – Well, actually they don’t know precisely. That’s one of the nice things about giving. You can give to people you may not know – and it’s not so much about what it is that you give but about offering a little bit of kindness and care, a little bit of love to someone who maybe doesn’t feel very loved.
C – Hm, it’s about bringing a smile to someone’s face!
A – Exactly. Now Maya and Leina live in England and they take part in something that’s been going for 10 years now. It’s practically a Christmas tradition, and it’s called Love in a Box.
C – Love in a Box? Hm, what kind of box?!
A – Well, a shoebox.
C – Love in a shoebox??! What kind of love goes in a shoebox?
A – A lot of love goes into these shoeboxes. The idea is to make a little box of nice things that you’ve thought about with love and send it to a child who maybe won’t get any other presents, maybe because they don’t have a comfortable home, their family can’t afford things for them. In Maya and Leina’s case, they’re sending their boxes to Moldova, which is in the poorest country in Europe, away in the east. This is how Leina, who’s 10 and lives in London, describes Love in a Box…
LEINA – It’s when you get some presents and daily supplies and it’s aimed at children who are not as lucky as us. I made a box for 10 year old girl, like me cause I know more about what she would like.
A – And what what did you put in the box this year?
LEINA – I ll put : Toothbrush and paste, Hairbrush and haut clips, Little toys like a card game, Stationary, Woolly hat, Gloves.
C – She’s really thinking about what to give! I can imagine anyone would be really happy to get a present like Leina’s box. But what does Leina get?
A – Well, I guess she gets what you described earlier, Clarisse, That joy of giving which we can all enjoy, even if we don’t know the person we’re helping. This is what Leina had to say…
LEINA – I feel really happy and excited cause I know I m helping someone else.
A – And her friend Maya says she’s happy because she can “make another child’s Christmas”.
C – Ah, that sounds great, Alastair. It makes me want to give Love in a Box too!
A – Well, you can, Clarisse. Or join in one of the many other projects which let people give presents to others who are in real need at this time of year. You can check out our story over at wow dash news dot eu for more ideas on how to get involved. You send presents to children, but also to older people who perhaps don’t have a home or don’t have family to help them.
C – That’s a great idea! Hm, and how much love can I fit in a shoe box…?
A – Well, there’s only one way to find out – we’d better try it. I think what Leina said is so true – that giving something can really make us feel good. I’ll leave you to go and find your box, Clarisse. See you next week!
C – Thanks, Alastair. Goodbye!
A – And if you’ve enjoyed this podcast, maybe you can make a gift of it to someone you know – just send them the link. And as I was saying, hop over to our site, wow dash news dot eu for some other ideas of organisations who’ll help you play Santa Claus to someone else. Enjoy bringing out the smiles in people! That’s all from me for this week, I’m Alastair, and I’ll be back with Clarisse for more from WoW! News next week, Until then, staaaay positive!