Only when I was seven years old, when I attended the first grade, it was the first time I saw Santa Claus. In our house we never talked about him. I heard from other children that he is an old man who comes from a far country, from the north, and at the end of the Old year, to children who have listened to their parents and behave well, he brings gifts.
Of course, not anything, but just what all this child wanted. I could not understand how Santa Claus knows what children want and how he knows which gift to bring for particular child. I secretly believed in it, although I had not ever spoken about it at home.
I know that a few days before the arrival of Santa Claus in our school, school-mistress has scheduled parent meeting on which was attended as usual my father too. Everything what happened on this meeting, what was discussed, the father did not speak, and as always, this time he returned home cheerful what meant that once again he had the opportunity to be in front of other parents proud of its ”little one” because of her excellent grades.
Finally, it came the day when our school-mistress announced that the next day there will be no teaching, but we are obliged to come to school in the specified time when it would be shown on the occasion of the New Year.
That day I almost ran back to school not knowing how much disappointment is waiting me there.
The event was organized in cooperation with the National Theatre of our city. It was nice and festive, unforgettable for me, as in a real fairy tale!
You can imagine, comes veritable open coach, especially decorated for the occasion, with four horses harnessed, also decorated. In the coach is a Santa Claus with a bag full of gifts for children, and with him two women – one is old, the shabby, ugly dress, and the other young and beautiful, like a fairy, in the new lacy dress, which I’ve only seen in picture books.
They explained to us that these are the New year and the Old year.
For a long time I remembered this event, better to say I’ve never even suppressed the memories, and every New Year celebration reminded me of it. It was so beautiful, almost unreal for us first-grade pupils, as if we, ourselves were in the same play. And finally came the moment when Santa Claus takes out gift packages and individual calls out all first-grade pupils of our school, not just my class.
And guess what – it happens something in what the children believed: each child receives from Santa Claus a gift pack that is wished, at least so they said friends from my class, screaming with joy and satisfaction. I rejoiced with them eagerly expecting to Santa Claus gives me present too. I waited a long, long time until the last gift is removed from the bag, but my name was not called out.
I was so sad, disappointed. All my school friends had left school with packages in hands, and I stayed last and do not know what hurt me more, because I did not get a packet, or because nobody even noticed. In a way I was ashamed. I came back home alone, crying and wondering why it happened to me, although I listened to my parents, and was an excellent school girl…
Only after a few years I found out the truth. At the parents’ meeting, held a few days before the end of the Old year, the school-mistress spoke to parents about the upcoming celebration and it was agreed that every parent finds out what their child wants to get from a Santa Claus, and buy it, and then in school they would form packets (of course, for this it should given a certain amount of money immediately to the parents’ meeting) in which will be found and an appropriate gift with full name of each pupil individually.
Lovely thoughtfully, but for me, a little girl from a poor family, is unfeasible.
And then again my opinion. Maybe my father would give the money, he loved me and appreciated because I was excellent pupil as opposed to my brothers and sisters, perhaps the reason was something else – perhaps religion.
Yet, no matter what the reason was, as the years passed by and I was older, I could not figure out why my father did not at least prevent me from going to school that day. At least I would be spared of the disappointment, sadness, shame…