Santa’s babies

December 27, 2006


       In your 30s, when you don’t need Valium any more on Christmas Eve day (or, when you’ve just strated to feel the need the pill), who do you wish to be with most on Christmas Eve day? For me, it’s definitely my kids: 2 nephews and 1 niece – Inku, Hyungku and Joohyen. I decided to spend Christmas holidays with the kids, since I missed the last year’s because of my moving out. So, a week before Christmas day, I made my call to them;

 “Sweetie, Christmas is coming. Since I just happen to have a chance to contact to Mr.Santa, I want to know what present you wish to get on the Christmas. Will you talk about it with your uncle?”

 Here are the answers from them, and each answer is different from others. First,

 Inku (the Eldest) : “Well, I haven’t thought about it yet. I will call YOU when I figure out.”

 Hyungku (the ‘nagging’ middle) : “Car. Actually, a police patrol.” 

 Joohyen (the ‘princess’ third) : “That’s what grandfa Santa will decide, so you can do mind your own business.”

   It seemed obvious to me that the princess is the only one who believes in Santa, ‘coz other kids’ answers sounded like they already knew who’s gonna buy the presents(me or the parents) and where the presents would be ‘purchased’ (CostCo – Oh yes, I’m broke) Anyway, I just got the least information that we need for gift shopping, only, Inku didn’t call me anyway and we used improvisation for kids except the nagging middle. (In fact, we need to wait for the last minute, since the middle kept changing his decision: well, that’s what kid is)

   I went to my parents’ on 24th, and slept over there. After we sent the kids to bed on 9 pm, my brother, a.k.a. the father of the three, held a small party for us: Fresh salmon, melon, quail eggs, capers and an ill-matched ‘domestic’ wine(!). Sometimes, my brother wants to show his good taste on food by helding a little party for family, only what he gets back from us is “Don’t cut up so much!” Anyway, my brother’s party routine made us up until 2 am (and he was very excited to do a vocal solo at the Christmas mass) and I could not get my sleep until 4 am.  And amazingly and depressingly, when the clock hit 7 am sharp, Inku woke me up;  

“I forgot to tell you this last night but now, I am worrying so much about Santa, because he does not know that I am sleeping over in granny’s house. Shall we go back home and check?”

   Hyungku and Joohyen followed and I told them they may need to run to the living room where the presents for them are lied under tiny fake Christmas tree that I set-uped at night. Well, nothing went beyond your expectation: screaming, tearing off the package, and most inportantly, laughing. They believed that presents are from the Santa. Even they believed the fake Santa’s Christmas cards, which were actually written by their own father. Now I have to admit that I was wrong. They didn’t know we bought the present at CostCo and they still believe in Christmas. I believed that the Santa would be an urban ‘Tim Burton-esque’ fairy-tale myth for the children of the 21th century. And I was so happy to know that I was wrong. I gave my ‘I-am-not-fully-awake’ hug to each and told them that I am happy to have such nice kids as them enuf to get presents from the Santa. We often loathe mass produced Disney version of kids and sometimes, we feel thrilled when we see a evil, skeptical ‘Ms. Karen Walker-like’ kids. But kids, are the greatest when kids are kids.


   The kids are supposed to move out of Seoul owing to his father’s move by business in a couple of months later. I haven’t seen them as often as I used to do, since I moved out. It bugs me. I will only be able to see them once in a month, if I am lucky. When I was about to leave my parents’, the princess asked;

“Btw, Uncle, wht didn’t you get any present from Santa? Because you’re adult?”

   I just couldn’t let her down by telling her that Santa stops giving present when you gel old.

 “Uncle haven’t been a good one for this year, that’s why I didn’t get any present.”

   I never thought she felt sad about it that much – she was about to cry. To relieve her from grief on her ‘bad-behaviored’ uncle, I had to tell her granny (a.k.a. my mom) will buy something for me. Well, it eventually happened: me and my mom went to CostCo. again. Only, things were contrary to what I told the princess: my mom robbed me for her grocery shopping. What I got is just a super value pack of Kellog’s rice crispy, which I am still eating now.

   This is the Christmas I had this year. I can’t say this is the best Christmas I’ve ever had. Although I don’t need crazy club night any more, but I can still enjoy romantic dinner with ‘the one’ on the eve’s night, which I’ve just had ONCE – back in 1993 – in my whole life. However, it’d definitely be the second best Christmas, or at least, I am so happy to be back to ‘the holidays with family’ scheme. When you grow old, you tend to find joy out of home; girlfriends, lover, or even strangers. Solace may be the only thing that leads you back home. Maybe, we lost the way we find love and joy in family since the very moment when we stopped believing in Santa. But still somewhere between the world of the man in red and your miserable adult reality, there are many ways you can find how to get love from your family, and how to give it back. That’s the beauty of Christmas. Maybe, it’s old, it’s cliche, but it’s true: Your family loves you. So love it more.    




One Response to “Santa’s babies”

  1. kanomalta Says:

    Welcome back ; ) About time I heard about your loved ones!

    Hope you are doing good, you still owe me a picture of your new ‘look’. I told my mom about your new self today, and she said:

    “Well as long as I’ve known him he NEVER had hair, so it will definitely be something very different for me.”

    : )

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