He is not the Truth. He is a man.
Well – yes. He is an American Christkind (angel). Don’t you want to ask the American Christkind for a present?
I don’t want anything.
Nothing at all?
Well…maybe some potatoes.
Kids can be a fickle bunch. One minute you have rockstar Mickey Mouse status, with every child clawing to get an autograph, a photo or merely just a glimpse of your
ridiculous creepy outfit greatness, but in the next – you are burnt toast with the crust still on. But let me clarify something – after living out my fantasies by getting to hit children without reprisal and accost unsuspecting women in the streets in the name of the spreading holiday cheer as the Krampus in Austria – I felt I needed to give something back. Fortunately, life exists in duality – Ying and Yang, peanut butter and jelly, social grace and Australians – and in Austria, to offset the punishment giving of the Krampus, they have the beloved present bearing Christkinds.
Christkinds are essentially angels bearing gifts for children in Alpine countries during the holiday season. Some might say it is little baby Jesus (Christ-kindl goes to Kris-Kringl in America), but in more general terms, they are gift givers, angelic, and more obviously, female.
So you have a job for me as an angel of sorts?
Yes. As a Christkind. They are the ones who come after the Krampus on December 6th to give presents to children.
But I don’t speak German. Is that a problem?
No. We can just say you are from America.
Well, aren’t angels usually girls?
Well – you can just shave and you will be fine.
Made sense to me. Or it could be that I was so desperate to finally find a job that didn’t involve shameless lying to people, hitting people, drinking myself unconscious or tarnishing my dainty girlish hands – that it seemed like a great gainful employment opportunity. Or so I thought.
December 6th – A day of love, joy and gift giving?
I arrived early on what was to be my first day at the office. In this case, the Christkinds’ office is actually a post office, since children must have a way to send their letter requesting their gift of choice. It is really not that dissimilar to children mailing letters to Santa Claus at the North Pole in America, except with the added bonus of getting to meet the
woman of the hour who is responsible for delivering the goods. Additionally, Austrian boys and girls tend to ask for basic things like a truck, wagon, or potatoes, while their American counterparts tend to feel entitled to be more inclined to ask for anything made by Apple or which has a sticker price on the windshield.
After my arrival, I received my Christkind uniform – wings, blond wig, and most important – a white dress 3 sizes too small (I blame the holiday gluhwein).
With my dashing new digs and a smooth baby face from shaving my precious man beard, I was ready to go. I was ready to drop joy like new born babies
at a crack house from the heavens above. But like any great romance, it takes two to tango. I first attempted to work the crowd with the usual politician like flair – a gentle embrace, a “hi, how ya doing” demeanor, a seasonally warm approach filled with kind heart well-wishing.
Unfortunately, the children did not feel the same. In life there are looks you get – the stare, the glare, the sneer – and then there are looks. Scorn I used to think was only reserved for the wicked, and even then, with the passing of time, the hearts of the people can be won if you turn the right dial with the right amount of holiday cheer.
Unforunately, this is just not true. I wanted to break the ice with the children, so I decided it would be best to put my best foot forward by using a little Dr. Doolittle charm by weaseling my way into their good graces by using the animals as my ally.
Except with American Christkinds.
Feeling a little bit discouraged, I decided to up my game and play to my strengths. So like any respectable American, I went to where I felt most at home, that being the suspiciously processed meat section of the event. What better way to break bread with the natives then at the wieny roast.
But it was not to be.
I was at a loss for words.
I needed help.
Tired I retreated to my office to think it over.
As I sat, toiling over my problem “How do I get these children to love me? Am I not a good Christkind? Am I not the one who gives these kids presents for Christ sake, why do they treat me so?”
I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t ask for blank stares. I didn’t ask for confusion. Why do these children not love me?
Alas, even this phoney Santa and his lame little reindeer was getting more holiday love than I. What shall I do?
But like a light bulb going on in an empty house. I finally arrived at a conclusion. A way to get to deliver the joy and holiday cheer I know that this American Christkind can deliver. I will use what every child loves: the train.
Because…sometimes you just need to wish upon a star…that is how Austrian children ask for Christmas wishes.
And sometimes…just at Christmas…if you have been good, your dreams really can come true.
I got one! Hallelujah!