On the eve of the New Year, the highest authorities in Ukraine send directives to children's institutions: “No Santa Claus and Snow Maiden at matinees!”

The authorities propose to replace them with "more civilized characters."

Santa Claus, a mermaid and even a witch are offered as civilized ones.

Ukrainian nationalists have been waging war with Father Frost for several years, but this year it is getting tougher.

The accusations against him are political.

He is a shaggy communist grandfather, an agent of the Kremlin.

It was invented by Soviet propaganda to cover up the Stalinist repressions.

It all looks like a joke, but it's not.

Our Santa Claus, of course, does not pull on a "civilized character" - all year round he sits in a hut hung with icicles, shaves toys for gifts for children.

Really shaggy, bearded, frosty.

But Ukrainian nationalists know very well: Grandfather is not an invention of propaganda, Grandfather is from folklore.

Nationalists who are keenly interested in mythology and paganism simply cannot but know this.

But it seems that the Ukrainians themselves are in no hurry to submit to the authorities and abandon Santa Claus and the Snow Maiden.

Both he and she are archetypes.

They lie in the depths of our national unconscious.

And for Russians and Ukrainians, the unconscious, whatever one may say, is the same.

We know that Santa Claus comes on New Year's Eve, bringing gifts to those who have behaved well.

We look forward to him: at the moment of his arrival, the old ends and the new begins.

The darkness dissipates, we go into the unknown light.

And at the junction of the old and the new, a miracle is possible.

We believe in this miracle, no matter how old we are - five or 80. And we associate all this with him, with Santa Claus.

And at least closer to the New Year, we try to behave well so that he does not punish us.

And this means that our faith in both good and bad, and in the punishability of bad, is also associated with Santa Claus.

And Grandfather himself is with our collective ancestral grandfather, dear to both Russians and Ukrainians.

To give up all this, as civilized Americans say, is too much.

After all, then you refuse the kind, from the division into good and bad, from your conscience.

Ordinary Ukrainians feel this in their gut and still hold on to their Grandfather.

The nationalists are well versed in all this and expose Santa Claus with new accusations.

They say that the fairy tales from which Father Frost and the Snow Maiden came out were originally evil: Father Frost was an evil Slavic god to whom girls were sacrificed, and the Snow Maiden is such a sacrifice.

“This is Russia, that is, the Soviet Union rewrote fairy tales!

they say.

“I deceived you by showing the evil ones as kind!”


But it’s so wonderful when you can rewrite an evil fairy tale into a good one and turn an unkind Slavic god from a common story into a kind grandfather that all the children are waiting for.

And his victim cannot be swallowed, not melted, but turned into a beloved granddaughter and sent along with Grandfather to deliver gifts, and at the same time teach the importance of ancestral ties.

The mere transformation of a fairy tale in the direction of good says a lot about our country.

Like Ukraine's attempt to deprive people of childhood memories, it says a lot about modern Ukraine.

In those memoirs, on which official Ukraine is now trying to stamp “Forbidden!”, Mom and Dad are waiting for Santa Claus.

He brings a fairy tale to life for even the biggest skeptic.

Even a skeptic believes in a miracle when the old and the new meet.

And of course, Ukrainians especially need this faith now.

Only one thing calms down: even if Santa Claus comes to the Ukrainians this New Year, he will very quickly turn into Santa Claus.

Can you imagine the strict civilized St. Nicholas in Ukrainian traditions, when vodka is poured, bacon is cut, songs are bawling?

I - no, I can't.

The point of view of the author may not coincide with the position of the editors.