Mr. C was chatting with the Tree.“You know I don’t want to be a liar, but it’s just very hard to be honest sometimes,” Mr. C said.
“What do you mean? I don’t understand,” the Tree answered. The Tree was trying to be patient, but he also knew that Mr. C did this every year.
“I don’t know if I should tell the children about my true identity. It’s quite depressing, you know. I don’t know if I should tell them the fact that I don’t exist.”
“Oh, then just don’t tell them. You don’t have to.”
“But I do get this guilty feeling about not telling them the truth, especially near the end of the year. I try not to think about it, but every morning when I wake up, I feel so depressed as I look at myself in the mirror. And I think, ‘You are a liar!’ Besides having to take good care of my beard, isn’t it just terrible?!” Now Mr. C looked kind of disgusted. He sat down on the couch.
“Well, it’s up to you to tell or not tell. I really don’t have the kind of experience you do. People just love me for who I am. They put all sorts of decorations on me, and then carefully remove them. They put all sorts of presents under me before the Big Day. I am big and beautiful. Unlike you, I am green. Green means longevity and people like that. I look strong too. They just cannot live without me, at least in the end of every year, don’t you think?” The Tree is quite proud.
“Sure, I don’t doubt your popularity. You are here and there alright, but I am not. And that is exactly my problem: children love me more. They think I will bring them presents and fulfill their wishes. They look forward to my visit throughout the year. But they don’t know the truth that I don’t exist, and it gives me such a heartache.” Mr. C was scratching his white beard. He looked somehow itchy.
“Hey, that’s why the ‘fact’ of your existence is totally irrelevant: People love you even if you don’t exist! What else can one ask more than THAT!” The Tree got a little bit jealous.
“Oh well, I know. I know how everyone loves me- Except some people love me only because they wish to get a present from me. It’s just that sometimes I feel so lonely when people don’t love me as who I really am. But I guess that’s too much to ask.” Mr. C is even more depressed.
“You know what your problem is Pal? Your real problem is you don’t have the guts to accept the truth. You are afraid of people turning their backs on you once you tell them the truth, simply put. But I don’t blame you: it is very bizzare to tell children that you don’t exist when you DON’T exist!”
“And as I have always told you regarding this matter, I don’t care what you do. If you tell them, you won’t only make yourself sound ridiculous, but obviously, they won’t love you anymore. However, if you keep the secret to yourself, they will love you as always, and you will just have this bloody depression once a year. Now, I have to rest. They plan to put things on me tonight, and I need to be ready for all that noise and joy. See ya.” The Tree always got really tired after talking to Mr. C because his face was always so gloomy.
Mr. C got up and walked away. He was tired of talking to the Tree, too. “Why do I always talk to the Tree anyway? He doesn’t care,” he thought. “I have to find Knecht Ruprechts to talk to about my problem.”
Mumbling to himself, but a little bit lightened up, Mr. C continued to think. “Why do I alway complain about telling the children about my existence anyway? Saint Nicholas was a real person who gave the good children chocolates on December the 6th. But I was invented from the idea of Saint Nicholas by Americans. I don’t exist! That’s it! I don’t exist, so I don’t need to tell them whether I exist or not. Someday they will figure this out by themselves. And if they won’t, it’s THEIR problem. I love the music anyway!” His face brightened up.
Then Mr. C got on with his day training the reindeers, humming, “All I want for Xmas is you…”
Ho Ho Ho!