Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Day Santa Died

Don't panic.  There will be Christmas this year, but Christmas won't be the same.

My children understand Santa has a HUGE job to do every year.
Managing the elves, keeping the "Naughty & Nice" list up to date, and delivering all those presents is a full-time job.

Add to it the obscene number of public appearances Santa needs to make this time of year, and it's a wonder he can be available to do much else.  This is why there are some who volunteer this time of year to be his assistants.

One year, many years ago, my daughter pointed out the obvious while getting her picture taken at the mall with Santa.

"Mom, that is not the REAL Santa!"

I'm sure my response was along the lines of, "Nope, he's not.  The Real Santa is in Albuquerque  today.  There is no way he can be everywhere.  That's why he has helpers. His helpers are his eyes and ears. They'll get your wish list to the real Santa."

What parent hasn't had a very similar conversation with their child?

The real thrill for my kids wasn't seeing Santa in the mall.  No, the real thrill was when he would arrive at my mom's annual Christmas party.  Halfway through the festivities, Santa always arrived with a few presents and candy canes for all the little ones.

Ohhhh, the squeals of joy!
Ohhhh, the shrieks of horror! (Yeah, some of those little ones are totally chicken shit when it comes to big men in red suits.)

My children would size up Santa and later report they didn't think he was the REAL one.  But..... they were never quite sure, and they always made sure they told Santa exactly which outrageously priced toy they wanted him to deliver on Christmas.

The truth is that Santa wasn't the real Santa, but he was the best!

Of course, he was jolly, and friendly.  Of course, he was dressed in a dazzling red suit.

He also had a heart of gold.  He understood the true meaning of Christmas, and he delighted in the joy of children.  He always had a joke to tell, and he always laughed the hardest after telling it.  His laugh was contagious!  When I close my eyes I can still here it.

Santa won't be joining our family celebration this year.

God bless his soul.

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