Its time to welcome the fresh new year with fresh hope, fresh expectations, forget the past. Just think about ahead !! May next year be better than this year, and all our resolutions that we have already planned for 2013 will be fulfilled.
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.”- T.S. Eliot, “Little Gidding”
At mid-night, I suddenly heard a rushing wind flowing into my house. I woke up and thinking if the sound was actually real or a part of my beautiful Christmas dream in the midst of Christmas night. I was curious yet a little bit afraid because my parents have already slept and no one is there to protect me in case if anything should happen to me. In the curiosity I tried to keep silence with my blanket on top of me covering my whole body. I pretended that I was sleeping, hoping that I actually fell a sleep and just forget about this weird night. The next sound I heard, I was so certain that someone was in the ground floor indeed. I then opened my door room and walked very slowly, to avoid to get noticed. I went down the stair to the ground floor and turned on the lights very quickly with a wish that the intruder will got shock by it and ran away. But after I turn the lights on, there was nobody in the room. I looked right and left, my eyes searching for the source of noise that I had heard from my bedroom. I found no one there but surprisingly when I glanced to the Christmas tree that my parents and me assembled just before I went to bed, one additional red boxes with my name is placed under the tree. As I approached the tree to hold the box, I heard bells ringing and I ran quickly to the window and saw Santa Claus was there, he saw me back from his sleight with all his reindeers, smiled, waved at me and laughed out loud “ ho ho ho”.
How many times, we heard the stories and movies about Santa Claus that tells the tales about a big man riding his sleight with all his lovely reindeers giving presents in the night of Christmas traveling very far from South pole where he manufactured all the gift helped by all his dwarfs.
When I moved to Belgium, I surprised by the fact that the Santa Claus that I have known for my whole life is not exist. It is not entirely a fictitious character though. But only here when I stay in Belgium I discovered the true Santa Claus. Santa Claus or also being famously called by religious catholic by the name of Saint Nicholas is a Santa in Catholic religion. Here in Belgium, people has a huge respect on the true Santa Claus. He is very famous that he became the patron of many things from archers, children, merchants until pawnbroker.
Indeed, some of the story of Santa Claus that we knew today was originally a fruit of the real Saint Nicholas’ heroics and charity acts. He was a Christian bishop of Myra. He was famous for his generous gifts to the poor, in particular presenting the three impoverished daughters of a pious Christian with dowries so that they would not have to become prostitutes. He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and thus became the model for Santa Claus, whose modern name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas.
In Belgium, 6th December turns out to be a great feast day of Saint Nicholas that is celebrated publicly by a festival. A noticeable difference exists in the way Santa Claus dress in Christmas event in Belgium. With the effort to combine the famous American way of Santa Claus and the real Santa Claus or Saint Nicholas, usually a man who became Santa in Belgium will dress with a combination between both Santa Claus that just look similar in the picture above.
In addition, recently I just found a fact of one of the big influence of the famous American Santa Claus tales. It is the book titled “The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus” which is a children’s book, written by L. Frank Baum in year 1902 that has shaped world perception of our currently held wide belief of Santa Claus. The book has later got into production to become a film in year 1985 with an ever good rating in IMDB website until today.