Carol sipped her cup of hot coffee, let the majestic liquid flood her mouth and run down her throat, she could feel all over her body a little warmth. It had been a difficult year, now the holidays were crashing against her head and everything was like a colorful vertigo she could hardly stand.
She remembered that the day before she and her sister Betty had written a letter to Santa Claus, she smiled bitterly as she lit a cigarette, it had been about 35 years since she had last written to Santa and now it already seemed a little ridiculous. They had done it at the request of his children and to distract himself a little, but in reality the exercise was cathartic, he remembered exactly the lines he wrote for the mythical character:
I haven't written to you for a long time, things have changed a lot since the last time, you seldom brought me what I asked for, but you must be calm now I understand why.
If only you existed I would ask you to be more benevolent with my two children, the last year was not friendly with them, I would wish with all my heart that you would not let them down as you did with me. But I'm not going to fool myself, now I know why people call you Santa Claus, you are like my children's absent father, you show up once a year and for that we have to bow to you.
Well no, there are no cookies or milk this year and I bought the presents myself, so please make the slightest effort to help me wrap them on Saturday night, I'll be very surprised if you show up.
Carol laughed again as she remembered, writing that letter had made her feel so good. She took a deep breath, the day was just beginning and there was a lot to do. So the hours passed between the tasks that Christmas entails, when Carol realized it was already dark and she had to wrap the presents, Betty was very tired so Carol volunteered to do it, she hadn't slept well at night for a long time.
When everyone was asleep Carol went to the kitchen to start the task, but first she prepared a delicious dark coffee, while the coffee pot was gurgling Carol thought she heard the sound of footsteps, she turned sharply and there he was standing in front of her, an ugly and disheveled little man with a white beard and a red suit. He smiled at her and said:
-I came as you asked me what are the gifts we should wrap?
Carol felt terrified, she realized she was going crazy. She wanted to run away, but she had had some self-destructive tendencies in the last few months and thought it would be fun to argue a little with her hallucination.
-I've always thought Coke lies in their advertising, now I've confirmed it - Carol said haughty, turning to Santa.
-A man's greatness is not measured by his height, Carol - replied Santa with a calm gesture.
-Of course not! - exclaimed Carol sarcastically - what are you doing here? You think you can just walk into people's homes whenever you want? You think you can police our lives and decide who is good or bad from your moral tyranny? You think you can absolve a few and others just sentence them and inquisitively condemn them to gift exile? You are the most vulgar representation of power and totalitarianism.
Santa shuddered, when he heard Carol's words his calm expression disappeared, no one had ever spoken to him like that before and his ego was bruised. She wanted to hide her displeasure.
-You invited me, that's why I'm here - said Santa, his voice less bright.
-Well, real people use the doorbell - Carol was a little upset, she had poured herself a cup of coffee, but while attacking Santa, she completely forgot it on the counter - because of you children learn to give more value to material things than to people. You have an exploitation camp where hundreds of elves work in slavery to sustain your empire. You practice animal abuse by making innocent reindeer pull your sleigh around the world, subjugated under your whip. You take bribes, you hide, you lie, you are like a sack full of anti-values.
Santa was annoyed - I'm just Santa, I've done nothing wrong - he said slamming his fist on the countertop.
When Carol heard the blow she jumped, her eyes filled with tears and she sentenced sternly:
-No, you are not only Santa, you are also my father withering my childhood and my sister's with the dictatorship of reward and punishment, and devouring my mother's joy with mistreatment and anger. You are my ex-husband exploiting me emotionally and abandoning me with the responsibility of two children. You are my boss consuming my time and labor power for a miserable salary and no guaranteed employment rights.
-And how can I be all that? - refuted Santa.
-You don't exist, you are a symbol and that's what you represent to me," Carol finished as she began to cry.
She didn't realize it, but Betty was listening to her behind the wall. Betty slowly walked into the kitchen and found Carol lying on the counter, she put her hand on her sister's back and caressed her gently. Carol raised her head and realized that Santa was gone, she looked at her sister not knowing what to say.
Betty looked at her tenderly and exclaimed:
-Let's go to bed, tomorrow we will talk to the children about Santa, we don't have to lie to them anymore, we can also talk a little about everything that has happened over the last year, it will do them good.
Carol wanted to feel better, but talking to her children frightened her, she saw the cup on the counter and wanted to drink but the coffee was already cold, she mentally disowned it and listened to her sister, she went to bed because she knew that the next day would be quite long.