We are in rush before Christmas, buying a lot of presents in crowded shopping centres, that no one need, just to have more presents under the Christmas tree. Is this the true Christmas spirit? No. Somewhere else are people celebrating their last Christmas and we can make them better. And imagine changing Christmas feeling for children, can you feel the real magic vibe?  That is what we did this week! We went to the hospitals in Prague and helped our Ježíšek (Baby Jesus, that gives us presents instead of Santa) make the Christmas time for ill kids in hospitals better. 

You may wonder how did it all begin? As a child I spent a long time in hospital an every single day there feels like it is two times longer, so imagine how bothering is to spend Christmas time there. Four years ago I had a lot of books and toys that were useless for me, so I got this idea to bring them to the hospital and give them to kids that would enjoy them and I will have space for new stuff. Win-win situation! I went to a neurology of children department and to an oncology. In this department there are special rules for toys and also for visitors, they let just the parents go inside. I asked if the parents can come and choose something for kids. I was talking with nurses while one mother came back. She gave me a 3D paper snowflake and told me that her daughter really love horses and she is so in love with the book I gave her, so she sent me the snowflake with apologize, that she doesn´t have anything better to give me, but she wishes me Merry Christmas, because I made her Christmas much more better and happier. I´ve never seen that girl, but she gave me such a big power to continue with this event through years and it became a tradition. I thought to myself - if this can happen just between two people, how we can help as a big group of people I organized the event this year together with ESN CU Prague and Erasmus students. 

Together we went to the hospitals in a small group of people, because the number of people that can come there is limited. The nurses organised for us names of the kids and asked everyone if we can take photos with them. We have brought there plenty of the books and toys and also as a present a diploma for Braveness with the child´s name. Some kids could come to pick their presents but some of them had to stay in their room because they couldn´t walk. So we took Ježíšek to their room. It´s such heartwarming to see the children happy. Some of them had there their parents and for us was another present the faces of the parents. They were happy with their kids for the present and proud that  students organise this event.  The nurses took a nice photo with us, because we gave present (boardgame) to each hospital also, we left there some old books for their library and some small stuff like puzzles, domino, pexeso etc. Can you imagine better reward than smiling people around you? And you know that they smile because you gave them your time!

Next day, I went back to the first hospital to give them the rest of the presents to children that will be there on Christmas day and while I reached the hospital, I saw there a big car, full of presents. While I went to the children department, I saw there full room of presents! Wow, imagine that! While they saw me I told them that I have few more presents for them, but it seems like I am a bit late, because my last 15 presents against 200 presents?!  “Don´t worry, you are so kind! We are so happy that you came and you made a special day for all our kids, we didn´t have time to say you how perfect the event was and yeah, now we have presents for one year ahead but anyway, we can give them one yours and one from the second Ježíšek”. I asked where the other presents come from, if it´s some sponsor from Toy´s store, “No, just a random person called us as you, if they can donate something for us, they didn´t want to sign any papers, they just said that they will send a car full of toys and it´s up to us when we give it to the children.” Wow again, I was so happy that these people exist. I am so proud that earth is still full of people who want help.

And that day, I found the Christmas spirit again. “Give others and you´ll became rich!” The biggest Christmas gift for me will be if all people will think more about the happy things around, share their time with people they love and take their time to watch some fairytale, switch of their mobile phones and enjoy the time not just at Christmas but through all year. Spread the Christmas spirit and share the happiness, that´s why we are here!

Thanks to all who where part of this event, even if you just read this article!

And if you like this event, but you are not from Prague, organize it under your organization next year or even earlier with different occasion! Contact us and we can give you the know how to organize this event. We will also be glad for every other organization, ESN section and Erasmus students that will join us next year!

Merry Christmas! ♥

Aneta Borková

ESN CU Prague