It is this long awaited time of the year again for the child in me.

In Mauritius there are no chimneys, so Santa Claus comes through the window with the presents. He does not bring his reindeer but it does not matter as he comes anyway with a huge bag filled with presents. He wears the same beautiful red coat wherever he goes in the world. Once I tried to sleep under the sofa on Christmas Eve so that I would see him, but my dad put me in bed when I fell asleep. I woke up in the morning feeling quite upset to find myself there.

I believed in Santa Claus until I was 7 years old, until the day I opened a present to find it was a toy that I had seen in mum’s bag a few days before. I was in tears when my parents told me the truth but they reassured me that they would still buy me presents every year, which they did for many more years.
There is one rule for all children. They have to be well-behaved to get gifts. The naughty ones might not get anything! They can send a letter to Santa and tell him what they would like and promise that they will be the most obedient child in the whole wide world (at least until they get their gifts).

Festivities
These days I don’t wait under the sofa but I go to Oxford Street in London where the decorations are spectacular. In some places lights are designed to look like falling snowflakes and it feels very Christmassy. Trees, lights and decorations are everywhere and you can feel the festive atmosphere simply by walking down the crowded streets.
Shop windows are filled with elves and fairies, gift wrapped boxes (most probably empty) and all sorts of toys. You might walk past a Santa who is busy giving presents to queuing children and still has time to wave at you. In the streets of London you sometimes find a choir singing Christmas carols.

May there be Peace and Love
Sadly, the real meaning of Christmas has been lost under the weight of commercial pressures and many forget that it started with the story of Jesus. It is good to be reminded, especially with the disturbances happening in various countries that the message was that we are all children of God and we should love each other. The message is priceless and it is as valuable today as it was back then.


My letter to Santa

Dear Santa,
Some of us have been nice, others have been not so good.
We have hurt each other, either accidentally or on purpose.
Bring us the gift of Peace. To all of us irrespective of gender, colour, religion and country.
Grant us this gift that will bring us all together so that we can love each other again.
Thank you,
Shalini