Bryan Hemming

short stories, comment, articles, humour and photography

Christmas in the pueblo

Santa WP 2013

In another sign of the kindness and generosity of Spaniards in general, and Andalucians in particular, a gathering of local cooks prepared sweetmeats, hot chocolate and fresh mandarin juice in the pueblo market this Thursday. As groups of small children were lined up in the square outside, waiters bustled about setting a long table against one wall.

With severe cuts in services and price rises affecting everybody’s Christmas, the council had decided to give the youngest school children a little treat before the holiday starts in earnest.

And, as a big nod towards equality of the sexes, there was a Sandra Claus, rather than Santa, sitting in the entrance with her sackful of goodies. But she did wear a beard. Not that it should seem so strange in a world where men have been shaving their faces to look more like women for millenia, if you stop to think about it.

If they did notice or care, the seemingly endless queues of patient little children said nothing. And, judging by their happy, little faces the little exercise in generosity was a huge success.

Once they’d finished tucking in, the market’s customers were served with the same. All for nothing, and staffed by unpaid volunteers, it warmed my heart to see. And the sweetmeats were delicious!


2 comments on “Christmas in the pueblo

  1. Bryan Hemming
    December 25, 2013

    She was fairly petite in every way, but jolly, and the children loved her. Sandra Claus seemed rather appropriate, in the circumstances, so that’s what I called her.

    In Spanish santa is the female form of saint. The male form is normally san. It seems we get our Santa Claus from the Dutch, rather than the Spanish. In Holland he is known as Sinterklaas.


  2. WordsFallFromMyEyes
    December 25, 2013

    This is gorgeous, Bryan. This is totally joyous.
    Never heard of a Sandra Claus. Hope she was fat – well, I mean, it just seems more jolly (some-bizarre-how).

    Merry Christmas, Bryan! And it’s gorgeous to think of those happy little kids.


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