Sunday, 06 December 2015 19:22

When Santa Claus came and left town

Limassol's Santa, now gone Limassol's Santa, now gone

It’s that time of year again: pre-Christmas. To me, it is a strange time of the year with everyone rushing about, getting stressed over presents (gifts that rarely anyone seems to rejoice over), already talking about the weight they are planning to put on – and then profusely complain about for weeks to follow.

And of course this time of year feels particularly ‘different’ to those of us who come from countries with a white Christmas. To me, admittedly being outrageously idealistic, December comes with a soft layer of pretty white snow and a jolly Santa Claus with an equally pretty white beard that one hopes to bump into at some point at some street corner.

But then again, here in Limassol we get to enjoy comparatively mild temperatures and – until this week – a muuuch bigger Santa, one that we could almost be certain to bump into, even though not with a pretty white beard.

I still remember my very first encounter with the ‘big Santa’ at Limassol’s Ayios Nikolaos roundabout. Nothing and nobody had prepared me for him and I almost fell off my bicycle as I came down the hill and spotted him for the first time ever. I remember it like yesterday; I had to stop and get off my bike to stare.

Being the photography and social media junkie that I am, I had to share my experience online once I got home. I discovered that I was not the only one who was a bit taken aback by the ‘big Santa’.

As I had found out this year, he actually did grow on you. One got used to him. This year for the first time, I spotted him and just thought “Oh there he is again”. He was looking a little worse for wear than last year, with all the creases in his beard having become just a little greyer and a little grimier from the passing traffic. It was almost like seeing an old friend who had not aged well and whom one did not wish to offend with any inappropriate reaction.

I did share my annual photo of the big man with the grimy beard and the slightly bulgy eyes, saying that I felt it a sign of having lived in Limassol for a long time that I was no longer scared by his first sight. I cannot be sure if people liked the sentiment or the photograph, but it was shared an amazing 20 times and liked by an even more amazing 100.

Thinking that he’s gone now is kind of sad – it seems he had grown on many of us.

Article as published in The Cyprus Weekly of December 4th 2015 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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