The year when I was nine years old, I fell in love with the beauty of violins through a TV program I watched in the summer, and badly wanted to play the instrument myself. In order to imagine what it would feel like to play the violin, I even crafted a toy violin out of a plastic bottle . But I never dared to ask my parents to buy me one since I sensed it was going to be expensive. So, instead, I took my wish to Santa Claus.
All through the summer and the autumn, every day, I asked Santa Claus to bring me a violin for my Christmas present. My keen request to Santa was audible everywhere in the house.
A few days before Christmas that year, my mother came to me and said that we were going to a music shop to buy a violin. I was puzzled. I had asked this gift from Santa Claus, not from my parents. Besides, it wasn’t yet Christmas.
“But I’m waiting for Santa to bring me this gift,” I told my mother. My mother thought for a moment.
“Well,” she said, carefully choosing the words. “Here’s the truth. When the child is old enough, Santa Claus actually asks the parents to buy the gift on his behalf. So, this year, he asked us to buy a violin for you.”
I thought about it. I imagined Santa Claus giving a secret message to my parents. Well, that sounded possible. As long as Santa was in charge of my present, I was happy. I agreed to come to the music shop with my mother.
We drove for half an hour to visit the YAMAHA music store in the city centre. I had visited the shop many times before, but for the first time, my mother and I landed on the floor dedicated to string instruments. A shop attendant led us to the small corner where all the violins were displayed.
We both knew that we were there to buy the cheapest possible violin that fit my size. There was a complete set of a full-size violin, a bow, and a case for about $1100. I was fascinated to be able to try the instrument myself. The quality whatever didn’t really matter to me. As the shop attendant took the violin out of the case and handed it to me, my heart beat fast.
While I was playing notes, my mother spoke with the shop attendant, and asked what was the next cheapest violin. She was curious to see if the quality was any different. The kind shop attendant took another violin from the display and handed it to me. I tried that one, too.
“Wow, the sound is different!”
My mother sounded impressed. The price of this violin was about $1400, but it didn’t come with a bow or a case. I looked at my mother anxiously. She asked me to play the two violins in turn, and when I did, she repeated that the difference of the sound quality felt bigger than the price difference.
In the end, we settled on the second cheapest option, and purchased an affordable bow and a basic case along with it. At the cashier, while my mother made the payment, another shop attendant helped me to adjust the length of the string of my violin case and carry it on my shoulder like a backpack. I felt the weight of my new violin on my body and a surge of excitement filled my heart.
I was so full of joy that once we came out of the store, I skipped my way to the car. My mother was also very happy, but, she didn’t forget to deliver the second half of Santa’s secret message.
“This was a rather expensive Christmas present, so, Santa said that he would make it a gift worth three Christmas’. Understood?”
I imagined Santa Claus budgeting all the Christmas gifts for the children. This year, he might have spent a little too much on my portion. It was possible that he had put that condition on my gift this year. As long as Santa watched over me, I was happy.
“That’s fine by me, Santa!”
I called out to the sky. With my new violin on my back, I was only happy that Santa had answered my request at all.