Santa tell me, are you really there?

Santa tell me, are you really there?

            Santa Claus. Did you write letters to that merry gentleman? Maybe you still do, just in a different form, huh? Believing in Santa and writing the most beautiful letters was an integral part of my childhood. Back then, I all cared about, were toys or films (yup, I will tell you about it in a minute) he will bring. Ever since my brother told me it’s not real, my world has changed – but not for bad.

Send your letters off to Santa, baby
Tell him all your secret wishes too

            Santa was The Man, when we were kids. When I look back at the “institution” of Santa Claus presented in TV, stories and commercials… Someone really wanted to capture the true magic of Christmas: heartwarming old man in glasses, long silver beard and smile on his kind face. One of the best things about Santa is that there are a lot of names in western Christian culture: Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Kris Kringle… But do you know who Saint Nicholas really was?

6 Different Santas: The Myths & Maths of Christmas in Poland | Article |  Culture.pl
Source: culture.pl

Saint Nicholas of Myra was a Greek Christian bishop in Lycia. Nicholas was famous for his generous gifts to the poor. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves, prostitutes, children, brewers, pawnbrokers, unmarried people, and students in various cities and countries around Europe.

So, in Poland we have St. Nicholas Day on 6th of December, kids wait for Nick to come and to put small gifts under their pillows. Kiddos who were on “naughty list” may find a twig or a piece of coal under their pillows. Tell me, friend. Were you a good guy this year?

Those Christmas lights light up the street…

            So, here is my idea how I want this to happen: you will be my Santa and I will be yours. You can tell me all your dreams and I will do my best to make them real. Or get you as close as possible. Once again, my friend, oh wait – I meant my Satna! Once again, dear Santa we must take this conversation to go. Poland is still on “gastronomical” lock down. Cinemas are shut down as well. This is not the Christmas I imagined; you know? I suppose it’s too late now to ask you for “normal” holidays? Ah, you felt my sarcasm. We talked about normal already but it feels like ages ago…

Santa
This my godson’s letter to us Santas. I love the Batman PJ.

Santa, tell me. How are you doing? This is your prime time, so I guess it must be pretty hard… I am very sorry about all that. Believe me, that if I could make it better, I would. I don’t like that worried look on your face. Gently I grab your arm to hug it tightly. I only now realize how difficult this situation is for you, my friend. Silent minds are in great danger. Talk to me, Santa.

            Today we are exploring my neighborhood. I know how much you missed being outside. But if it’s any consolation, I was sick last week and the doctor told me to take it easy on running. So, I can finally resume it this Tuesday! Come on, Santa. Show me that warm smile. There you go!

When you’re still waiting for the snow to fall,
It doesn’t really feel like Christmas at all

            Long sigh escapes my mouth, but you know I’m not hissing at you. It’s the world. Christmas 2020 will be so odd, and the least the Universe could do for us, is let it snow. Right? But it’s a deeper problem – I know. But you know what? My friend in Cleveland sent me pictures of her home – it was snowing for a few days and they were knee-deep in that white thing!!! So, at least someone I know is happy and making snowball fights. What? Oh, you mean that I am trying to look for positives? What else is there to do, Santa?

We walk in silence, trying to imagine this forest we are in, covered in snow. I bet I can guess what you are thinking right now, Santa. It will be difficult to run here in the morning. On the other hand, though, think about how shower will feel after this freezing adventure. And tea?!

Santa
My tea advent calendar by English Tea Shop

            My mum got me a tea advent calendar this year – similarly as last year. This time it looks a bit fancier, it’s organic tea and the flavors are so high-level! When I was a kid, there were no choices with calendars – only with chocolate that wasn’t even real chocolate, dear Santa. But nobody cared! I must admit, I was one of the strugglers; I often scooped sweets from days ahead and had to pretend that I had it on the right day. And of course, on 24th, it was the biggest treat. Your laughter fills the cold air and I think I will never get bored of this expression. Laughter that is so contagious, so darn charming – this is the secret weapon.

You will get a sentimental feeling when you hear
Voices singing, let’s be jolly!

            Oh yes, this is the most sentimental season, isn’t it? I mean we always go through old photographs! Especially from previous Christmases. I told you that my grandpa died around Christmas, 9 years ago? I think I mentioned it last week. We talk about our relationships, friendships and acquaintances that started or ended. Hey, what’s with the smirk? Do you remember that book, Life of Pi? There was this quote: “I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.”

I like this picture even though it seems a bit… Lonely.
Christmas 2018.

It hurts, doesn’t it? When someone leaves our life, just shut the door, without bidding farewell. You know what? As much as one part of me is saying “screw them”, the other is thinking about “whys” and “whats”. What made them leave? Why did they see no other option? We meet hundreds of souls, but I think that only a few are meant to stay with us for a long, long time. And one of the most important things, when it comes to choosing friends, is to be sure that they will celebrate you (for who you are) and your successes (whether big or small).

            Your silent agreement pleases me, though I know that you don’t have much to say when it comes to choosing friends, right? You are stuck with me, so I think it’s time to switch roles. Let me be your Santa. And I am here to make all your wishes come true. I mean, you are the best, the goodest conscience ever. You listen; you are a great mind. And I don’t mean it in a selfish way. You keep me sane; you are my biggest supporter any my toughest competition. I would not be here, in this world if it weren’t for you.

Once bitten and twice shy
I keep my distance, but you still catch my eye

            Say whatever you want, friend but this is, HANDS DOWN, one of the best Christmas songs ever. Even though it’s not strictly a Christmas song. Hey, I’m the Santa here now, okay? Listen. It is a story about love, but it is also a Christmas song. Period! Did you know that my mum keeps all the letters I wrote to Santa? I will show you, one day.

Life was simple back then. All I ever wanted were toys. And films! This is the story I promised. In kindergarten I was deeply into this polish film, based on an absolute classic – With fire and sword by Henryk Sienkiewicz. It’s a historic film (and book) set in the 17th century in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth during the Khmelnytsky Uprising. Sounds great, right? I was absolutely in love with Michal Zebrowski who played the role of Skrzetuski. This was my first celebrity crush I think…?

Michał Żebrowski jako Jan Skrzetuski w filmie „Ogniem i mieczem” (1999)
I mean… Can you blame me?
Source: wprost.pl

We walk towards the edge of the forest, and you can see a big bridge that hovers above fields of gold. I call them “fields of gold” in honor of Sting’s song. In the early summer they really are golden in the light of the setting sun. So, in my first letter to Santa, and I was using drawings instead of words, I drew a VHS of this film. And guess what? I GOT IT! My parents probably regretted it after, because I insisted on watching it EVERY SINGLE DAY, but yeah. They were used to it after The Lion King.  When they bought me this VHS, I kept watching it daily, after kindergarten.

I don’t want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need…

            Now I’m silent, reflecting on your words. The song itself seems cheesy, right?  But when you strip it down and extract some lyrics, it’s so sweet and profound. I wish I could give you that one thing you need – serenity. I know this is what you want, friend. Calmness, peace of you. Peace of mind… We both know why you will never accept it, though. It would mean the end of our conversations. You will never cease to exist, but once you are calm and have the serenity, there will be no place for doubt.

And in the end, this is why we talk, right? I doubt. Myself, mainly. Am I doing the right things? Is my work, does it make sense? Or am I really meant for bigger, greater things; corporation is just a pit stop, a way for me to get what I really want. Am I a good friend? Good daughter? Is my presence, my attitude, my motives and motivation enough? The wheel is spinning.

Santa
Memories of Dresden, pic by M.
St. Nick’s Day 2019.

These conversations anchor me down. I can put a lot of things in perspective and see it through a different set of eyes. You know, I will be attending diplomacy classes for some time now. Yesterday, we had this public speaking class. Lady, who was in charge of this one told us that within every single one of us, there is the toughest critic. And I must acknowledge her, but never let her take the power over me.

            Is there anything else I can get you? Come on, buddy. Maybe some decent amount of sleep instead? 😉 Santa can make that happen! And I promise no nightmares this time. Who would’ve thought that watching Chaos Walking trailer when you are exhausted can result in such vivid nightmares…? I’m sorry, this one is entirely on me.

I need you Christmas
Friends by the fire to hold
Times have been lonely
And lately I just feel alone…

            I’m not a very good Santa to you, am I? Figures. But hey, you know what? Last week at work we had a “General Christmas” podcast about all things Christmas. We talked about movies and traditions and my new favorite person in my company gave me the best December rule. I called it “the Dawn rule” and I swore to live by it always: for every 3 presents you get for someone, get one gift for yourself. From you, to you.

This is what I like to call „TIRED AF ME DOING PODCAST AT WORK”. We killed it!

And so, I decided to buy only essential things for my new apartment – like Star Wars books, that I’m missing in my collection. Hey, don’t laugh. It’s important to have a complete series; canon AND legends!!! But you know that I am smiling, I can’t hide that childish excitement. For me, Christmas is Star Wars. You know how my SW adventure started, and most films came out during this season so…

To answer your question, yes. I will be watching the movies all over again soon. What can I say? Those are the best Christmas movies ever! You know, speaking of. I asked my friends about favorite Christmas films and not one was about Santa: Love, actually; Harry Potter, Rocky, Titanic… You stop abruptly wondering how I phrased the question, right? Oh man, you know me so well. Okay, I asked about NOT typical films you watch during Christmas. You caught me!

I’m dizzy, you’re jaded
We slowly self-destructed

            Damn it. I tried so hard to distance myself from Bastille but this song is so raw, so unfiltered. I can’t just pass it by. Guess that is the thing with songwriting. Or writing in general. We, the authors, always hope someone will stop and reflect. That yet again brings us to the fundamental question about this blog: does it work? Make sense? You know, I love doing it and I suppose I will not stop. But… I don’t know. Sometimes I’m just curious.

Your embrace feels like home and I know that you don’t have an answer. This place is mine and only I can make sense for myself. I know, it’s tricky. But you are absolutely right, friend: doubt is self-destructive. And Santa can’t doubt!

SANTAAAAAA

            After all, it’s Santa’s day and we should celebrate. Let’s go home and check what he left us, and if he picked up our letters. Before we turn around, I stop to look at you. And… You look better. Calmer, at ease. I know this could be deceiving but… How do you feel? I feel pretty good. Even though work is hell, even though I’m physically tired. You smile in response.

That’s all I need for Christmas, friend.

Brak opisu.
I guess I was on the „nice list” after all <3

TPC’S Christmas tunes

5 thoughts on “Santa tell me, are you really there?

  1. There you are, making me tear up again. Ughhh, how dare you! How dare you be so good with words and putting so much emotion into whatever you are writing? How dare you be so sensitive and soft and striking directly into the heart? Ahh, I hope you know I’m not seriously blaming you for that and, in fact, I really admire all those things in you ❤
    Believing in Santa is one thing but being Santa is a whole other world. Giving to others changes people, it makes us less selfish, more aware of what happens around us, melts a bit the ice that surrounds our hearts. The magic of (around) Christmas time is actually in the act of giving, isn’t it? ☺️

  2. We got a glance here into a podcaster’s backstage – Cap America mousepad and 'analog’ notepad with notes for the session. Love it! ❤
    I must say you got me with the 'Sword and Fire’ thing. That was unexpected 🙂

  3. An excellent blog entry that interleaves modern pop culture, Saint Nicholas, and self-reflection of the myriad of thoughts that we can entertain in one day, particularly the inner narrator. Have a good Winter season and please get back to running even though it’s freezing cold outside- yes it always sucks for the first 10-15 minutes, but gets easier as the run progresses.

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