Santa's Secret Winter
Once upon a time there was a secret that no one knew, a secret about the cheerful, round, red-clad man we all know and love: Santa Claus. Children all over the world believed that he lived at the North Pole, in a land of eternal ice and snow. But the real story, the big secret, was very different.
Santa actually didn't like the cold! He had a hidden refuge where he spent the winter, not in the frigid Arctic, but in the warm and hospitable country of Vietnam.
Why Vietnam, you ask? Santa Claus had a soft spot for the golden beaches, the smiling people and the delicious Pho soup. In Vietnam he was able to go unnoticed. No one expected to see Santa Claus sunbathing on the banks of the Mekong River!
Every year, after delivering presents on Christmas Eve, Santa Claus would trade his sleigh and reindeer for a traditional Vietnamese sampan boat. He exchanged his heavy winter coat for a light linen suit, took off his pointed hat and put on a straw hat. He said goodbye to the North Pole and headed for the sunny south.
In Vietnam, Santa Claus enjoyed his well-deserved rest. He walked through the green rice fields, visited the colorful floating markets, and tasted the local delicacies. There he met Ba, an elderly lady who taught him how to make the best Pho soup and with whom he enjoyed spending his evenings, exchanging stories and listening to her old Vietnamese legends.
But even during his vacation in Vietnam, Santa Claus never forgot the children of the world. He collected exotic gifts during his travels: handmade dolls from Hoi An, delicate silk scarves from Hanoi, and colorful lanterns from Hue. He did all this while struggling to use chopsticks, which always caused amusement among the locals!
However, one year there was a problem. Santa Claus had lost a special gift, a rare golden compass, and had to find it before returning to the North Pole. With the help of his Vietnamese friends, he went on an adventurous quest across the country and eventually recovered the compass just in time to return to the North Pole.
When winter ended, Santa Claus returned to the North Pole, his sleigh full of special gifts, ready to bring joy for the next Christmas season. And so the magic of Christmas was born again every year, with a little help from sunny Vietnam.
And while children around the world believe Santa Claus spends the winter in the icy cold of the North Pole, we now know the real story. So if you ever wonder, “Where's a good place to spend the winter?”, think of Santa Claus and his secret paradise, Vietnam.