Papa Noël

Semira Sanchez - Senegal

January 13, 2012

In my village, not many people understand the concept of Santa Claus.  They don’t have Christmas music, stockings on the fireplace, no Christmas trees or Christmas caroling.  So for a Christian village it was quite odd for me to understand how they celebrated this holiday.

One evening, I was sitting with my three siblings watching muted TV (our volume doesn’t work) Suddenly a Christmas commercial came on the screen and my 7 year old brother, Renée, yelled for my 2 year old brother Jean, to look at the mini character of “Papa Noël” (Santa Claus) on the TV screen.  My two-year-old brother looked at “Papa Noël” as if he had just seen one of his dreams come to life.  I had asked my older brother why he reacted the way he did. He told me that it was the first time he had ever seen “Papa Noël.” When he told me that, it shocked me a little, thinking that a two-year-old boy had never known the concept of “Santa Claus.”

Petit Papa Noel
Papa Noël


On Christmas Eve, I decided to draw “Petit Papa Noël” for my younger brother, just so that he could have the concept of Santa Claus.  I spent a good 15 min drawing the best Santa Claus I could.

After I was done, I taped it to our wall in our living room, and told my brother to come and see what I “made” for him.  He got all excited and stared at my drawing for a good 5 min.  Later my other siblings came into the house, staring at my drawing of Santa Claus. My sister even brought some of her friends to look at my drawing.

Even now my “drawing” is still up on the wall and my 2-year-old brother hasn’t stop staring at it since.

Semira Sanchez