Me and St. Nicholas

On the edge of a snowy big city stood a small, but cozy house. In it lived a family – mom, dad, my younger brother Tomasz and me – Elisabeth. Despite all the hardships we had to go through due to being poor, we were really happy. Love, gratitude and modesty reigned in our family.

Although our bellies were not always full, I believed that one day this would change. Because hope dies last, and when you don’t expect it, miracles begin to happen. That’s why I found a job selling newspapers at a young age. My mother always packed me a piece of bread so I wouldn’t walk around hungry.

Ja I Sveti Nikola
Ja I Sveti Nikola

With Christmas approaching, I always received extra money. I kept a close eye on this money so that I could buy Tom his favorite Christmas cake from the bakery for his birthday, which he celebrated on Christmas Eve. Christmas songs echoed all around, and the air was filled with various smells of sweet baked goods, fruits and all sorts of products, decorations, candles, which attracted people not only by smell, but also by its colors and shapes.

While I was looking at all the stalls, at the end of the dark street an unknown gentleman was shivering with cold. His clothing showed that, like my family, he had not had it easy in life. His long, gray beard was streaked with snowflakes that had woven themselves into his beard, where they gradually turned into drops of water.

I walked up to him and talked to him. I learned that he was a traveler who had been to many countries and seen amazing things. He asked me what a young girl like me was doing here, so I told him the story of my life. Later, I offered this man a piece of my bread as a Christmas gift from me. He gratefully accepted my gift. In return, however, I wanted him to tell me about his travels and experiences.

That evening, after returning home, I enthusiastically told stories to my younger brother until we both fell asleep from exhaustion. 

The next morning I woke up and couldn’t believe my eyes. Under the kitchen table I found a box full of ducats, and on the table were still warm Christmas cookies and a letter. Thanks for my good deed, for showing that there are people in the world with pure hearts and goodness in their souls. And that’s because even though I had little myself, I still shared the only piece of bread my mother gave me. He went on to tell me that he was not the ordinary man he dressed up as. At the end was a name that every child in the world knows. And that name was St. Nicholas.

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