Diary Entry – 24.12.19
It’s been a hectic couple of days; I have barely found time to catch my breath.
Today, the first half went in a tizzy, but I managed to get my beard trimmed. Each year I think of trying out a new style—may be a French beard or a goatee—but I always chicken out. My wife finds it atrociously funny—a man like myself, with a goatee, giving out gifts in the middle of the night. Apparently, the image reminds her of a kidnapper from that funny movie —Home Alone was it?
My suit has been dry-cleaned and ironed; ready to wear for our midnight activities. It’s always amusing to see Santa Claus depicted in red clothes when, truly, my favourite outfit is my blue coat and brown pants. Was it in the 1930s? I don’t remember, but Coca-Cola was heavily invested in creating an image for me. Until then, the way I looked was never anyone’s thought. It’s commendable… they came pretty close; besides my fashion sense, of course.
This year has been as busy, if not busier, than the rest. We had to deal with a few a lot of unexpected mishaps over the past months. You remember when the Gift List wasn’t done in time, how it managed to cast a cloud over the enthusiasm and efficiency of the people?
As you know, work usually begins towards the end of October. It’s tireless days and sleepless nights of compiling lists, deciding gifts and planning the grand trip. This time, however, my work had begun early July. Changing the rules calls for meetings and discussions and most of all, patience. Dealing with the other Santas of the world is, as I have been reminded this year, the toughest aspect of my job.
Anyways, this year a lot of conditions for the Naughty List were nullified. The old rules simply don’t apply anymore. I did the math, so, if we were to follow the same standards this year, more than half of the world would not qualify for a gift! Can you imagine? A select few in each city getting a gift?
Rules such as using cuss words or carelessly crossing the road no longer differentiate the naughty from nice. I had also felt that sympathy was a rarity in this world, so for a show of understanding, you would now be on the Nice List. I know it seems a bit harsh, but times change, and so should we.
These changes resulted in work coming to a standstill. At the Compilation Department, everyone was confused with the changes. I had to come down to help them through personally, and I thought I had done an excellent job, but the situation in the Gift Department reflected something else altogether. The Gift Department was a mess! The lists had one too many errors—names were spelt wrong, some people were on both lists, some people were on neither. It was a nightmare! Everything had to be done again. Thankfully, with my wonderful staff, we managed to get it done.
It’s incredible to see the different things the world wants. Last year, a girl had asked for a puppy. It had taken us a while to select Spencer, a playful black Lab. Spencer was the reason I was almost caught delivering a gift. Just as I had placed him under the tree, he woke up and began to bark. The new place really excited him, and he began to jump all around the house. Before I knew it, the lights were on and everyone was making their way towards the tree. Although I got away, I had managed to drop my hat. Lucky for that girl, Christmas came early with a little memento from Santa Claus.
It has been a tough year for the people and the world we live in, alike. Many of the wishes were simple donations to places they believe would bring about change. Social media has led to the disappearance of boundaries—donations come from different parts of the world. People, now, simply read about a situation and if they feel strongly enough, try and be a part of the change.
I’ve been asked to grant strength to people and their loved ones to get through a tough Christmas riddled with challenges—disease, financial instability or even confusing moments in their life. Of course, the regular requests for toys, clothes and gadgets have also come in. Christmas is the season of giving, after all!
Speaking of giving, my neighbours have been all too kind this year. One of our sleighs was damaged, beyond repair, but the young boys around took the trouble of finding wood and getting a new one done up in no time. What a relief, it was. One of them had actually made it onto the Naughty List, but oh well, guess he will be getting a gift after all.
It’s a colder, whiter winter this time around. Against the white, everything looks a bit brighter and more beautiful. I can hear the carols and smell the festive food in every corner. The Christmas cheer has set in; it is my favourite time of the year.
My only resolution for 2019 was to get fitter. The extensive travelling on Christmas Eve has always left me exhausted, and I did not want to reach a stage where it affected my health. It’s time to put my year’s hard work to test tonight.
We’re planning to leave earlier than usual. One of the children had asked for Japenese fans from Japan, so we will have to pick it up from Japan’s Santa Claus. Otherwise, the gifts have been set, the reindeer are ready, and I will be too. The next few hours are usually the most important hours of my year, followed by the vacation we all take. This year we’re going to Bali, to take a break from this weather.
It’s the most beautiful time of the year! Merry Christmas!
~ Written by Aarohi Sarma for MTTN
~ Featured Image by Sara Dharmik
~ Edited by Melissa Carlo