Storytelling example

I grew up in Denmark with an icelandic heritage. My parents moved here when I was just four. And I learned from a young age that their view of life often clashed with those around us. I grew up in a strange duality, it sometimes being quite diffucult to shift between a lot of different points of view. Chrismas time was certainly something that examplified this. In icelandic lore, Santa Claus most certainly isn’t as friendly as he is in danish lore. And there isn’t just one of him. I’d grown up both learning of Santa Claus as this friendly giftgiving sweet old man who lived on Greenland but also simultaneosly leaning that there were several Santa Clauses, and they were not so friendly. In fact there were thirteen of them and they’d create a lot of trouble. They’d slam doors, steal candles, eat your sausages and peek in your windows at night. Rather harmles troubles so far, but this wasn’t all. These men had a mother and a father and a family cat. The cat was as big as a small horse, ragged and evil. It would assist their mother and father in capturing children who misbehaved around christmas time, throwing them in a bag, carrying them up the hill and eating them. Suffice to say, I was terrified. I was given two plushies that looked like Santa Claus, and eventually I’d build up a strange forced loyalty to them. I was afraid of somehow wronging them, earning their rage and being eaten. Their cold, dead, black pin-eyes confirmed this deep within me, and I figured I’d stay on the safe side and not do anything to bring down their judgement upon me. This included not telling my parents anything of it. When I think back on it today, they were actually rather fluffy and entirely harmless. But each year, I’d grow to have a stranger and stranger relationship to the plushies brought out at christmas time. I furthermore told myself that they must be angry for being locked away in an ornament box all summer, while the rest of my plushies got to stay put in my room. I believed that the santas jealously must’ve harboured some ill intentions towards my other plushies. So I’d keep them at a safe distance from the others. But still not far enough away to awake suspicion from the evil santas, of course. After all, I was outnumbered two to one. Year after year I’d smile and nod each time the plushies were brought out, and I’d play along to not anger the evil, childsnatching santas until I was old enough to grow out of plushies entirely. Still today at twentyfour, I heavily dislike the danish traditions of keeping the small mischievous ‘nisser’, elves or santas everywhere at christmastime. In the midst of my peers who love them, I to this day still find them highly unsettling.


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