One dark December afternoon the sun has already started going down and if we get closer to Post Office N2 in the seaside town, we will see the beginning of this story. Let’s look through the windows.
The room is small and dimly lit. Five women past middle age wearing shabby company vests are talking to each other and sorting the letters. They are slightly irritable because at that time of the year they are a lot busier. That’s how it goes during the festive season in spite of the Internet. The oldest woman suddenly stops, holding a sealed envelope in her hand:
“Come see this!”
They all gather around her, she is holding an envelope which doesn’t even have a stamp and on it, in a child’s wavering handwriting, is written:
A Letter to Father Christmas
from Little Nicky Christov
5 Otets Paisii Street
The Town of So-and-so
The woman takes out the sheet of paper from the envelope and begins to read:
Dear Father Christmas. I have been very good this year. Mom and Dad are jobless and we don’t have any money to spare. We scrimp on electricity so it’s cold at home. Could you please bring me a winter coat, a stocking hat and a pair of mittens for Christmas.
There was a child’s hand outlined with a pen below.
The five women in the tiny room felt somehow sad and thoughtful …, or rather, they felt oppressed . The oldest one wiped her eyes with her palm and said:
“Look, we can each set aside 10 levs from our salaries and buy these things. We will gift wrap them and the night before Christmas, Delcho the postman will deliver the parcel to the address. It won’t make our salaries much smaller than they are.”
And that’s what they did. But … 50 levs weren’t enough to buy mittens, too; their colleagues even had to chip in for the coat and the hat.
“Well, we can buy mittens next year,” the women said.
The holidays came and went. Some people were still finishing up the stuffed cabbage leaves and the New Year was getting back to its normal rhythm. One such day, an unsealed letter with the same child’s handwriting was delivered again to the same post office. The women gathered together excitedly and the oldest one started reading the letter out loud:
Dear Father Christmas, Тhank you with all my heart for the nice winter coat and the warm hat. I didn’t get mittens but I am not cross with you. I know that you are very good and you have sent me mittens, too, but those stinkers from the post must have pinched them. I love you and thank you again!
 Stuffed cabbage leaves – a common Eastern European dish, part of the traditional Christmas menu in Bulgaria; during the festive season it is usually prepared with mincedpork and sauerkraut.