78. Christmas – It’s all about Family (with James)

J: They’re very nice. They’re traditional not just English, I’m sure European, I’m sure International. Christmas treat.
L: I don’t know if they eat mince pies in places…
J: I doubt they do in China or places like that. I don’t think it’s an Asian dish
L: … Spain or Italy or …
J: I’m sure Northern Europe though. I’m mean… I’m sure the Scandinavians and…
L: (in Scandinavian accent) They would like to eat mince pie.
L: Let’s not do that.
J: Just let’s avoid the whole, bad accents, sorry about that.
L: There is one. The Scandinavians have a sense of humor, they can laugh at themselves. They would find that funny. Especially because…
J: Especially we since… we’ve just done a Dutch accent as well.
L: Yeah, exactly.
J: Anyway, moving swiftly on. I think it’s time for you to say something Luke. What do you associate with Christmas?
L: We dealt with the mince pie thing.
J: Hang on. That’s how I knew Santa wasn’t real, because the note from Santa was in my mum’s handwriting and I just lost it, I mean I just started crying… no, that’s not true, I’m lying. I kind of… my suspicions were aroused and it was kind of the way breaking it to me gently, I think, this massive lie about Father Christmas has finally been revealed to be not true. You know what I mean – a lie.
L: I lost it that means you just went crazy…
J: I didn’t really that was a joke, but “lost it” would mean being crazy, losing your mind.
L: And losing your temper. “Oh my God, what’s it? Mum? Why? Why is just…”
J: “Just why?”
L: “Why is Father Christmas note written in your handwriting, what the hell is going on? Who’s the president?”
J: (laugh)
L: You know, this is like that. “And my suspicions were aroused”.
J: That sounds very Sherlock Holmes, but it means it’s quite an old way of saying…
L: You sense that…
J: …something was wrong.
L: …something was suspicious. And like: (in Sherlock Holmes accent) “Watson, my suspicions have been aroused by this note written in your mother handwriting” you know, that kind of thing.
J: Exactly.
L: Okay. So “my suspicions were aroused” means that you became suspicious.
J: Correct.
L: Yeah, thanks. Okay, so you learned that Father Christmas wasn’t real, because…
J: I hope there is no children listening… Sorry kids, it’s your mum and dad and if don’t have mum and dad, it’s your carer or… Let’s just leave it there, because it’s very sad.
L: You meant… You’re talking about orphan poor children.
J: I’m saying about orphans, that happens.
L: Orphan children, who has nothing else to do, but listening to Luke’s English Podcast. Well, it’s a sad story. Imagine some poor orphan child, whose only… the only thing he has at Christmas is internet access and an iPod. (in child voice) “Oh, all I’ve got is an iPod, don’t have a mum and dad. I’m from the North of England, for some reason.”
J: It’s actually symbolic of [a] common issue, you could say, these days. There are some research done to suggest that a lot of parents these days are working very hard, they’re not spending as much… both parents might work… they’re spending more time away from their family than ever. And there is evidences to suggest that to make up for this, they’re buying their children more and more expensive gadgets and electronic products.
L: Gadgets.
J: Gadgets. Like computer games, gameboys, iPhones, whatever, but sadly it doesn’t actually make the children happier. Although they may think that they want an expensive present. The evidence suggests that happier children are ones who simply spend more time with the families rather than being bought off. “Bought off” – there is a phrase with expensive gift.
L: “To be bought off”, okay. I actually have read about this in the newspaper and I know what you’re talking about. I’m just writing that down “to be bought off”. It’s that these days, because of economic reasons and so on in families both parents go to work.
J: Often yes.
L: And both parents have full time jobs, which means that the kids often spend time alone or they spend time with babysitters or something…
J: …or on the Internet, on Facebook.
L: Yeah. They don’t have as much contact with their parents anymore and obviously the parents feel really bad about this and so at Christmas in order to kind of make up for the fact they haven’t spent that much time with their kids they buy them these expensive consumer items like, you know, gameboys and stuff.
J: Designer jeans.
L: Designer jeans. You are really in touch with what young people want these days and as a result they give them these things as a kind of substitute for their own love and care and attention, which they can’t give to their children. It’s a sad story.
J: It’s sad, I’m welling up here.
L: Oh, are you welling up? Well up then. Make it obvious.