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Max
Who does a background check on Santa?!
Apparently I do
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Dear Santa,  Hope this letter finds you on time. Can never trust sending letters to someone with a continent for an address, am I right? A few weeks back I was listening to some kids on a show discuss Christmas stories. I heard the popular tales about Rudolph, elves, and a few about fellow human beings whose wishes Santa fulfilled. That got me thinking and after looking through a few sources, I found some brilliant stories crafted by storytellers like O.Henry and Hans Christian Andersen. What made me unsettled is that, apart from regional variations on the idea of Santa, nobody knows who you are or where you came from.  I admit there are a few speculations that the popular culture nurtures, but I would come up short if I wanted to know more. Who are you Santa? Where do you come from? Now, getting your identity questioned when you are swamped with work is irritating. This is why I decided to spare you the pain and took it upon myself to find more about you. Maybe you had a shady past and all the records have been wiped clean when you got this job, making this journey of mine a tricky one. Nevertheless, I’m nothing if not stubborn and this project was my top priority.  From all the texts I scoured, I understood that your brand is that of the happy old man who brings presents to children across the globe. I have to say, it is a tough image to keep. A slight misstep could put you on the list of sex offenders – like I said, risky business. Yet, I admire your courage to bring happiness into the little hearts during the cold months. Another thing that remains constant about you is your company. There are reindeer and elves. When and how did you meet them? What made them stay with you? I assume it is the hefty pay and popularity. Skipping all the other similar questions that arose in my mind while researching your past, I came to one conclusion. I will share it with you but I need your acknowledgement in return. It would be wise if you refrained from ghosting yours truly.  Now you might wonder why I need to find out about your origins so desperately. You have every right to do that. In my defence, as much as Christmas season is filled with warm, fuzzy feelings, to me, the season has always felt stifling. Too much people interrupting my routine, sugary treats that lose their charm after a day or two, compulsory family time, and what not. I would never hold it against anyone who enjoys all this, but the fact remains that come Christmas, family descends upon me like clockwork. They try to prise out of me what I achieved this year, what I failed to do, and badger me on my plans for the future. At the same time Santa, you come in at night without having to face any of this and get to leave immediately. I think it is unfair, maybe I will write to your family after this and sic them on you.  Anyway, after a week of caffeine-fuelled research, the conclusion that I drew is that, Santa, you are the little kid whose eyes widen in wonder upon seeing something new and prods everyone around to look that marvel you discovered. You are that young child with compassion so deep for everyone, so much compassion that other creatures trust that you will never harm them. You are that overworked parent who puts together everything they have to find trinkets that will make the family happy. You are that grandparent that spreads warmth and unadulterated joy with their toothless grin. Santa, you are a compilation of everything good in the world, like warm soup on a cold night or a drink of cool water on a hot afternoon.  This is why Santa, I was not able to find concrete evidence pointing to mere earthly things like birth and death. You are hope, love, and cheer in a world that desperately looks for comfort in every corner. Thus, I will take this revelation that came to me as my Christmas gift this year. Perhaps this knowledge will help me be a little mellow towards the most vexing relative. Or maybe I will enjoy rum cake or the Christmas pudding a little more this time. After all, human senses are enhanced and stimuli are interpreted in a better light when we are in a pleasant mood. Maybe that is my Christmas gift this year – the ability to enjoy things that I once did.   Maybe I will try being a Santa in my own capacity, obviously without the belly, beard, and polar animals.   Yours truly, M P.S: On the off-chance that I am spectacularly wrong Santa, please let me know what you did for you to have to clear your records. I would be interested in contacting the same services you availed. Seasons greetings!      ----------- Theresa Jaison St. Teresa's College of Arts and Science

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