Letter to Saint Nicolas
Dear, dear Santa,
You must be very busy this month, rather from a couple of months before you must have been busy. What with half the world demanding all sorts of different gifts from you; no wonder if you threw up your hands in exasperation saying, “Oh yet another letter!!” I most certainly understand how frustrated you must be. So here’s the great revelation of my letter: I need no gift from you. This is not a demand on a certain steam boat, or talking doll or human-size teddy or a certain dress from a high-end designer. This is just to appreciate what you have brought to the world for centuries throughout.
There are a lot of people who spend one happy day in their lives before the end of each year thanks to this gift-giving culture you brought. The rich people, for your sake, give off something nice to the poor people. Those who never receive gifts on a usual basis get something- at least a new fountain pen, on Christmas because of the belief in you. The children in Children’s Homes and the lonely elders in Elders’ homes get all the attention they want just for one day of the year because Santa Claus has no boundary lines to give off gifts.
And somewhere, a very bad boy is going to give less trouble to his mother and behave for one day so that Santa would be pleased with him and would leave a gift for him. Some really naughty girl is going to be very good so that Santa would visit her. See? You have brought good to the world in your own way. Of course Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus. But the art of giving something you have to someone else also matters a lot.
That day, long ago when you packed a bag with clothes and food and little toys for the poor families, did you ever think people would become so serious about continuing that art? Maybe you didn’t; but I’m sure you are glad we did so, because this has added more meaning to the birth of the Christ. What you started years ago was one small act of humanity; caring and sharing. Today it has spread all over the world- ‘Give what you can give, no matter how small it is’.
Yet, I hope you won’t be too cross about the people creating a trademark out of you. Santa Claus has become a trend now. The idea of an old man, with a long fluffy beard as white as snow, creeping down the chimneys to leave little parcels of gifts has become an essential item on Christmas. No Santa, no Christmas then. Santa jokes, Santa songs, Santa what-not has come to the world, and perhaps these destroy the real essence of what you meant by sharing. Yet I am grateful for the idea of ‘giving’ you brought. If not for you, Christmas would be just another celebration of food and drinks.
I believe you live in every heart that is ready to open up for another person. And oh no, I don’t think that you come out only in December. I believe you are here all the time. Whenever someone offers someone else something, even when someone offers to buy a cup of coffee for someone who can’t even afford that, I believe that’s the guidance of Santa we follow.
Thank you Santa for the chain of goodness you started. That is your greatest gift to the people.