Sunday, December 5, 2010

The meaning of December 6th.

Ever since I can remember, December was my favourite month of the year. There was something about the holiday cheer, endless guests, snow and presents that deeply appealed to me as a child. Very many years ago (about 15-20 to be more exact), on the evening of December 5th, I would wipe clean my prettiest pair of shoes and lay them down for "Saint Nicholas" to come and fill with gifts. You see, Saint Nicholas was this old, old man who brought presents to all the good children in the world. As I imagined him, wearing a long cosy red robe with his warm hat and white hair, he would travel around the world, on the night of 5/6th Dec, gripping his wooden cane and gift bag, dropping a few gifts for each child he visited.

And then I grew up and found out that "Saint Nicholas" was a lie. A sweet-tasting abundance of gifts, and the magnificent scent of orange peel and cinnamon filling the air.

After that, a few years back, the 6th of December still meant something. I eagerly awaited for it with the heart of a child. It was the element of surprise that kept it alive (even though I pretty much knew I was going to get money - which was just enough to buy some Coca Cola and cigarettes - and, chocolate). I enjoyed this as a teenager, mostly because it gave me a good opportunity to go out with friends.

As an adult, somehow I await for this evening w
ith the same childish enthusiasm. This time, however, the sweet smell of orange peel and cinnamon has been replaced by nostalgia that chews away, freely, at my insides. I know I am all alone here and I am fine with it. I know there are going to be no gifts, smiles or hugs and I am fine with that too. I try to explain my enthusiasm somehow and end up in failure for the 100th time. I will awake to shiny empty boots tomorrow. I know it, and even though I should (rationally) be having a bitter taste lingering in my mouth, I can't help it: I feel excited for tonight!

As December unfolds and time gets closer and closer to Christmas, I realize there's one single present I could dream of: I wish I could be a firm believer in
innocence and miracles once again.

*Later Edit: thank you to the person that unknowingly gave me a gift for St. Nicholas. That made my day! *

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