2009 has not been a great year for me and those around me. As a matter of fact, I haven’t exactly been filled with that “christmas spirit.” I can whine about breaking my leg, being unemployed and on the precipice of financial disaster, but it doesn’t make it any better. We can debate the negative impact commercialism and religous zealots have had on the message of Santa and Christmas. Unfortunately I am just not feeling that pozitoodinal love right now and then I get stuck having to play you at a birthday party.
You can imagine how “thrilled” I was when I was the defacto choice to play you, yes you Santa, for the birthday party. Great, here I was the King Grinch about to play Santa for a group of 30, eight and nine-year old unappreciative boys and girls. Joy.
With much trepidation I donned the suit that is more recognizable and valuable than any suit that has come out of the finest Savile Row tailor shop. As I put on your suit something weird started happening. As I put the wig and beard on that weird thing started growing stronger. When I was done I looked in the mirror and damn, I was Santa. Yikes
As I made my way into the party I was stunned by the girls and boys. They stopped what they were doing and looked at me long and hard. They gave me the once and then twice over. Hmmmm, who is this person dressed in Santa’s suit. Hmmmm. The eyed me suspiciously until I gave out the best ho, ho, ho I could give. It was perfect. They stood wide-eyed looking at me.
Then they started with the questions. This was their opportunity to really see if this Santa had a clue. The first question was a lay-up: What are all the reindeer names? I thought for a moment and then let out a loud Santa, “ho, ho, ho” and then said, “that’s easy; Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen.” Then I looked at all the children and said, “and the most famous reindeer of all Rudolph.”
That opened the floodgates:
Where are the reindeer now? What do they eat? Where do they poop? Which one is your favorite? Then it was; Where is Mrs. Claus? Why isn’t she here? Am I on the good list? Where are the elves? Do you know what I want for Christmas? Why are you so skinny?
“What?” I asked. The little 8-year-old girl asked the question again, “why are you so skinny?” I told her that Mrs. Claus always puts me on a diet during the summer so that I can eat all those cookies on Christmas eve. She seemed to think that was a pretty good answer.
Funny, who would have thought I’d have to don a Santa suit to be called skinny.
The two hours flew by. The girls and boys were transfixed by my rendition of Santa and so was I. For those 2 hours I didn’t bemoan my personal challenges. For those two hours I was a reflection in those children’s eyes. Reflections of innocence and hope. For those two hours all was good for them and for me.
If you were looking into that magic spyglass you have I hope you looked in on my performance and were pleased. It was a good reminder of the power and magic of hope that the spirit of Santa brings for both young and old alike.
Safe travels this year Santa. I am going to work hard to make sure I am on your “good” list in 2010.
If we don’t speak before, Happy New Year and I will leave out a plate of chocolate chip cookies for you and a few carrots for the reindeer.