The reason I am writing this letter,
is that I think the Christmas calendar would be better,
if there is a place in it for me and my celebration,
that is why I am writing this job application.
My name is Sinterklaas, I know, it is hard to pronounce,
maybe my official name Saint Nicholas will be easier to announce.
I am famous in the Netherlands, where everyone knows my name,
but I know in Sweden, it’s just not the same.
I am celebrated almost all over Europe with different traditions,
but that is not yet the end of my ambitions.
I think I have something to offer for the Swedish holiday job market in December,
and if you give me this chance, I will give you something to remember.
I am not here to start a competition with Santa Claus,
forget about him, there is someone new in da house.
I am a bearer of gifts and candy as well,
but unlike Jultomten I have stories in rhyme to tell.
And normally, I would write a witty poem for the receiver of my gift,
but this time, the process has unfortunately not been so swift.
Because who am I writing to, who is reading this blog?
Is there anyone out there to appreciate this dialogue?
The scientists themselves, looking for some reflection,
on the lives they all live and to find some connection?
Or is it their families and friends, eager to hear more about their busy lives?
The potential PhD candidates, trying to answer “is this for me” by reading the archives?
My solution is to write to all of you at the same time,
with my excellent writing skills, I am even making it rhyme.
Still, the same problem comes with finding just one present for everyone,
and fixing that complication is definitely easier said than done.
See, I am an empathic person, I always find the right things that someone requires,
although I have to admit, I usually get a wish list showing their deepest desires.
Nevertheless, even I, Sinterklaas, can´t provide any scientist with the holy grail:
grants, tenure, an accepted manuscript or a printed thesis are (fortunately!) not for sale.
But this time I have something else in mind,
a gift that keeps on giving, if everyone would be so kind.
It does require some teamwork and for you to come to my aid,
because I need help in numbers, otherwise this can’t be played.
In the Netherlands and surrounding countries, it is customary for kids to leave a shoe around,
which will be filled overnight with small gifts and left for them to be found.
The presents don´t have to be expensive or to come in huge amounts,
for all the surprised and happy children, it is the gesture that counts.
If you prepare a shoe filled with a little something for your lab mate, neighbor or friend,
we can put a smile on someone’s face and make the world a better place in the end.
I am already providing you with a shoe template,
so join this celebration, don´t hesitate!
But what if you don’t have time to fold a shoe?
I get it, we all have too many things to do..
Do something nice for someone, leave someone a kind note, it doesn’t have to rhyme,
just spread a bit of light and joy around you in this stressed and dark time.
One of my less good qualities is that I don´t know when to stop,
but I promise you, sometimes I do actually shut up.
If you liked my celebration, and deemed it a success,
I promise, next year, I will write a little less.
When the years pass by, traditions can start becoming strange,
and although I may be old, I am still young enough to encourage change.
I hope you will invite me for a job interview, so I can be in next year’s calendar as well,
until then: have a nice end of the year, so long and farewell!