The Economic Crisis and the Grief of Santa Claus
By Abd Al-Gaziz Al-Maqah
Santa, these people do not deserve a single tear from your noble eyes.
Translated By Joseph McBirnie
5 January 2013
Edited by Gillian Palmer
UAE - al-Khaleej - Original Article (Arabic)
Several American and European newspapers wrote about the recession that accompanied the Christmas season this year, and the absence of the majority of citizens in these countries who would buy holiday gifts and jam into the stores at an unprecedented rate. One of these newspapers indicated that Christmas would look faceless for the first time. What I read in this regard led me to imagine the image of Santa Claus, who had broken into homes to distribute precious gifts to the sleeping children of wealthy families. I imagined that they would find him beautiful and that their responses would not be unlike those of children who are accustomed to finding their gifts near their pillows directly after they wake from sleep.
This line of thinking was not too far from the bitter truth, which you would expect from one senior American or European economist, or from the general public, which believes that the economy will remain robust and strong forever. They believe that it will not approach the abyss that it narrowly avoided. Along these lines, one might imagine that after waiting a long time for Christmas gifts, they found themselves alone. Santa did not give any gifts, so they were afraid that something had happened, like that he forgot that they were waiting for those gifts to give to the children, as usual, on this happy occasion. They thought at first that he was sleeping late after a long Christmas Eve. They waited so long and didn’t find anyone knocking on their doors. They perhaps went to the market or were busy choosing gifts, but they were surprised. But the markets were devoid of people, while the big and small stores were open and their display windows held models of precious and innovative gifts. The colored and dazzling lights filled the roads but, at this time, they did not attract anyone who had previously shopped.
A group of people barely hinted at the end of the year that the markets were declining sharply and dramatically. They knew of the discussions revolving around bankruptcy striking the country, the inability of its citizens to buy Christmas gifts and the austerity that had to be imposed. Santa Claus sighed and almost cried because he had not heard the far off voice say to him, “Santa, these people do not deserve a single tear from your noble eyes. They have rigged the consumer system, corrupted the world with their obscene wealth and created many injustices for the suffering people of this earth. Santa, let them taste some of what those who have had difficulty finding bread, water and housing taste.”
However, the rays of the first morning of the first day of the new year awakened children in the cities of the immensely wealthy who, in the hope of finding what Santa Claus had left them, found that he’d left them nothing. They believed for a few minutes that the cold, biting night had prevented him from coming and that he would come after the cold wave had passed. But the hours passed, and the whole day, with no Santa and none of his gifts. They then realized that their country was not doing well, that Santa is suffering bankruptcy because of their parents and that for this reason he has disappeared. In a state of shame, he passed by empty-handed, saying, “Happy New Year, my young children.”
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