A warm fire crackled merrily inside the large stone hearth nestled within Russia’s cozy den. Canada, Matthew Williams, grinned at the small fir tree nearby. Russia was at first a little hesitant to set up the tree, his people had been so split on the seasonal holiday for so long, but Matthew’s urging wore him down and he agreed to a small one. When Matthew asked if Ivan wanted any other decorations put up he found himself blinking in surprise at Ivan’s request.
"You want a Santa Claus figure? Why?" The slimmer blond queried with a raised eyebrow. Ivan gave a gentle shrug.
"I would not want to offend him by not showing that he is welcome here." Ivan answered. Matthew’s jaw dropped only slightly before he remembered his manners.
"You…Ivan, really? You still believe in Santa Claus?" Matthew chuckled incredulously. Ivan nodded. "But why? I mean…you’re so old, you should know he’s nothing but a fairytale that parents tell their children so they don’t misbehave."
Ivan only smiled at Matthew a moment before answering.
"I believe in Santa Claus because I feel he is real. I have never found his buttons near my fireplace nor heard the prancing hoof beats of his reindeer near my home but I have felt when his spirit touches me. I believe in him because I have no reason not to. You do not believe in him because you do not see him, da? You have no proof he has been there and he has never left you a present that you could not account for later. But that is where you are wrong," Ivan grinned at Matthew’s disbelieving smirk. "Does the feeling of good cheer come because some sort of formula demanded it? Does a hot drink during winter’s reign not feel more filling for the soul rather than the belly? Santa Claus, Ded Moroz, Sinterklass, Papa Noel, the name does not matter, Matvey. He is real because if he were not I would never feel as good during the coldest time of year as I always have. I do not need to see a bite taken from a cookie left overnight to understand."