I know I haven’t been a good boy as the last time I wrote to you was over 40 years ago when I first heard of your loving generosity. I wrote you a letter asking for some sweets and placed a sock at the foot of the bed that I shared with my siblings. I woke up excited the next morning to retrieve my sock.
It was cold and empty.
I concluded: first, you probably didn’t know Chinese and second (only much later on in life when I learned something about ‘lost in translation’), I should have used a “stocking”, not a “sock”, and I should have shown my welcome by means of a mince pie and a glass of sherry. Oh, yes, and a carrot for the reindeer. And of course, being the only person who secretly believed in you, there’s no way that I could persuade my non-believer parents to help assemble such requisites. Nor did we have any sherry in the house (rice wine and Taiwan Beer maybe). As for the mince pie, I never sampled one myself until I came to the UK as an adult. So, there….
I went to school disappointed, but I understood.
Now I am older and perhaps wiser. And I have never forgotten you – you remain the same kindly grandfather to me: your white silky, bushy eyebrows and beard, ping pong ball nose, the chubby cheeks with a rosy sheen that pull out a smile that signifies your universal benevolence. I dreamed of you picking me up to gently place me on your lap and just being a Father Christmas like you did for all those sweet white boys.
I can now speak English (as I learned from my childhood experience, English was spoken by not only God but also you!) and I do purchase sherry in this festive season. Carrots also feature regularly in my weekly shop. So, really, there’s no excuse for me not to try to rekindle our special friendship that didn’t really have the best start due to our cultural differences.
This is my second letter to you. I am sorry it’s a little bit late as I have just broken up from school last Friday, and I did want my students to get their letters to you completed first. I sincerely hope that you have forgiven my childhood ignorance and was kind enough to give me a second chance.
No, I am not going to ask for “world peace” as many will have asked and it’s such an unreasonable task for just one person with a team of reindeer to accomplish (see, I am still very understanding). No, not world peace, or even ridding the world of poverty and misery. Humans are perfectly capable of doing that themselves, if they set their minds to it.
All I want for Christmas is for you to drop my other letter – you know, the one I wrote to Nicky Morgan, our Education Secretary – off on your rounds disguised as a gif file all over Twittersphere (you can’t fool me; I’ve told you I am wiser now). Well, it’s a bit like the “world peace” situation, humans will just have to do their bit to sign my petition.
That’s it. Told you it’s easy. Thanks a million. Your old pal (unlike the age-defying you, I do get old, hence this second appeal).