December 20, 2013

Thought That Counts

It's the thought that counts. So true. Unfortunately, sometimes it's not always so clear what that thought was. And sometimes, when it is clear, we wish it wasn't. This week, during this, the season of giving, we turn our spotlight on the givers and exactly whatever it was they could've possibly been thinking.


Host Ira Glass speaks to teenagers at the Arundel Mills Mall in Maryland about something that's difficult for so many teenagers: finding Christmas presents for their parents. He talks to Kevin and Karyn Delauder and their dad JD, and two other teens, Gage and William. (6 minutes)

Act One

Replacement Claus

Jonathan Goldstein tells the story of Santa Claus, who, after losing his wife, Martha Claus, sets out to find love once again. Jonathan's the host of podcast/radio show Wiretap, which is heard on the CBC and on many public radio stations in this country. (17 minutes)

Then 19-year-old Larry Daniels at Arundel Mills Mall explains to Ira what he's bought for his parents in the past, and why he's never asked them what they want for Christmas. (5 minutes)

Act Two

Your Junk In a Box

Starlee Kine tells the story of hundreds of boxes left behind by the late Andy Warhol. The boxes, an art project he titled "Time Capsules," includes hundreds of thousands of objects from all parts of his life. It's taken museum staff at the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh decades to sort it all out, and try to make sense of what's included. (11 minutes)

Act Three

Christmas or Bust

Writer Russell Banks tells the story of a teenager, estranged from his family, who plans a triumphant return home for the holidays. But when he puts his plan into action, it drives his family further away, and simultaneously puts him on the wrong side of the law. Banks is the author most recently of a short story collection A Permanent Member of the Family. A version of this story is in his novel Rule of the Bone. (13 minutes)

To end the show, a 16-year-old employee at the Orange Julius-Dairy Queen at Arundel Mills Mall tells Ira the incredible Christmas gift she has planned for her mom. (2 minutes)