“What does the fat man in the red suit do?”

The question catches me off guard and I pause for a few seconds to try to answer in a way that might make sense.

“Some people say he gives gifts to children” I finally reply, sure that I am only leaving more questions than answers.

“But he does not really do that does he”

“No, but many families try to tell that to their kids while they are young”


“Well, I guess it is just something you are supposed to do in America”

“But why”

“A long time ago there was this guy name Saint Nicholas who gave things to people who were in need, and everyone liked him, but now it’s different. It has changed from helping those in need to giving things to people in your life”

“So does that mean America is a Catholic country”

“No, not really”

“Then why does everyone want their children to believe in a Saint?”

“… Uh….”  I say as I shift my weight in my chair uncomfortably.

“Do the kids know that it is really the parents who are buying them things?”

“Most of them do, but some families still want their kids to believe in Santa Claus”

“Here in Ethiopia we celebrate Christmas, but no one gives any one anything, we just get our families together and have a meal together and remember that Jesus was born and came to save us”

“That is beautiful”

“Can you tell me about the Easter Bunny?”

“Well, uh….”  Again, I am at a loss for words.

“What does a rabbit have to do with Jesus coming back from dying?”

“I have no idea”

“How about the children? What do the children do on Easter”

“We hide Easter Eggs with candy in them and the kids try to find them.”

“Does the Easter bunny hide the eggs like Santa Claus gives presents?”

“I guess so”


“I know, strange”



Levi (and Mawael)