Saturday with Santa

I woke up Saturday morning, stretched and headed downstairs. Angelina beat me down and started barking like a crazy dog. So I rushed to the kitchen to find Santa standing there with his finger up his round, snowy white beard shushing Angelina. Angelina immediately stopped barking and started wagging her tail.

I squinted my eyes and said, “Santa?”

“Good morning, Joe,” he answered.

“Santa?” I repeated. “What are you doing here?”

“I was in the neighborhood and thought I’d stop by and say hi. Hi!”

The questions swirled in my mind as the jolly old elf handed me a cup of coffee {yes, he brewed the coffee}. “How did you know I was here? Why are you here?”

“I know where everyone is,” he quipped with a smile.

“But how did you know I would be here?

“I follow you on social media. I knew you were launching your  book — congratulations, by the way, the first one was a real keeper — so I figured I’d drop by.”

“The launch is Sunday. How did you know I wasn’t on the road today?”

“Because when I was up in Maine doing a dry run yesterday, I noticed your car wasn’t in the parking lot. I figured you headed down … and I was right! Here you are!”

“Okay, okay, but why are you here?” I asked.

“Duh, what do I do on the Saturday before Thanksgiving?”

“How could I forget. You make an appearance at the old St. Mary’s School Bazaar up in Waterloo. And somehow I always get sucked into your schemes.”

Santa reached into his velvety red coat, pulled out a list and made a check on it “Sucked into my schemes, not on the good side,” he mused.

“Okay, we know what you’re doing here, but what are you doing HERE?”

“I need your help,” he blurted out.

“Again?”

“Yes, smarty, again.”

“Parking issues like last year?”

“No, not really. The sleigh is parked in the back forty.”

“Okay…” I offered with animated hands.

“It needs some work.”

“What do you mean it needs some work?”

“Well, I brought some of the understudies with me to scope the area. I figured with the fresh snow, it would be a good time to practice some landings and take-offs with them …”

I interrupted, “and they crashed the sleigh.”

“No, no. No. No! They did very well.”

“Okay?”

“It seems on one of the landings, the mute pedal got tangled in some slush-covered brush and dropped from the bracket on the underbelly of the sleigh.”

“The mute pedal?”

“Yeah,” he responded. “It’s the piece that puts me in stealth mode so I don’t wake everybody up.”

“Okay, but how does this affect me?”

“Well it just happened up the road. What a clatter! What a clatter!” he offered. “Luckily I spotted your car, so I figured I would drop by and see if you could give me a lift.”

“Well, sure, I guess so,” I sheepishly said, not wanting any more check marks on the bad side of the ledger.

“Besides,” Santa said. “We always have such a good time together.”

That’s true. Although I wouldn’t admit it, I look forward to meeting up with the big guy before Christmas. I’ve been meeting him on and off for years. One year he got lost when his new GPS put him on Route 96A instead of Route 96. Another year he tracked me down in St. Thomas. And still another he ran into some sleigh trouble, just like this year. And he was right. Our visits were always fun and exciting with good conversation. And you know, you do have to stay on his good side.

“What about the sleigh?” I asked.

“What about it?”

“You just can’t leave it here.”

“I won’t. Called AAA North Pole and they’re sending some elves down to fix it. The last message from them was the elves should be here around 10 and it should be ready to take flight by noon.”

“That’s pretty quick, won’t it take longer?”

Santa stroked his beard for a moment, then said, “No. Elfin magic.”

“Elfin magic,” I repeated shaking my head as I went back upstairs to get ready.

On the ride to the bazzaar, Santa asked me if I was getting in the Christmas spirit”

“I’m trying,” I stammered. “I mean I’ve been watching some Christmas movies…”

“Hallmark, right?”

“Yeah, how did you know?”

Of course I got that look. “The best part of Hallmark movies is you can fall asleep during them and know what happened,” he roared with his belly shaking like a bowlful of jelly.

That brought a smile to my face. “I’ve done that a time or two.”

He continued laughing, “I know.”

Then he got a little serious. “Too often people miss the whole point of Christmas!”

“Ahhh, oookay,”

He continued, “Christmas isn’t glitter and glitz. Christmas is a feeling, an attitude. And it shouldn’t just dwell in you at Christmas. It should dwell in you each and every day of the year. Christmas is joy. Remember what that is? Christmas is wonder. Are you so old you forgot what that is?  It’s a celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ.  It’s a time to celebrate His birth … the remarkable beginning of a life lived and sacrificed for you and me. Christ is the reason for the season. And that Love should dwell in us … not just during the Christmas season but every day.”

Of course he was right, and I saw him put that Love in action as he meandered through the auditorium and classrooms and ramps wishing every vendor, every patron a hearty “Merry Christmas!” He would stop if there was a child present to talk to them as if they were the only two people in the room. And by child I mean from two months old to two months past their 39th birthday.

I saw that Love in action as he settled in at his special spot. I watched the twinkle in his eyes as he read stories — The Christmas Eve Tree, The Snow Tree, One Maine Christmas Eve, How Santa Claus Got His Job, Guess Who’s Coming to Santa’s for Dinner?, Christmas on an Island and The Night Before Christmas. I saw the magic and awe and joy and excitement and wonder as the little ones shared a secret toy request with him. I saw the pure innocent Love dwelling in him as he answered their questions, gently reminding them the holidays are “family” time and a time for celebration.

I saw him laugh and I saw the children laugh and I thought to myself, “Man. He has this down right.”

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Become a mentor.

 

 

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About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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2 Responses to Saturday with Santa

  1. Loved this, and as a questionable boon I shall grace you with my rewrite of a beloved carol, from the perspective of a structural engineer.

    Up on the housetop reindeer pause;
    oh, dear God, it’s Santa Claus!
    In an overloaded sleigh with its runners bowed,
    he’s exceed our roof’s ultimate load.
    Ho, ho, ho, there the rafters go!
    Ho, ho, ho, look out below!
    Down through the housetop, quick, quick, quick,
    and into the cellar falls good Saint Nick!

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