My father is usually one of Santa’s many helpers during the holiday season, but this year he was suffering with some back problems, so my dear friend John agreed to fill those boots. What we didn’t know until it was too late was that my dad sent everything, but Santa’s beard. So on Holiday Arts Night in the bakery, Santa John wore a beard crafted out of a paper plate and cotton balls.
I was sure that there might be some complaints or at least hesitation from the children when seeing this obvious costume misstep. I honestly wondered if it might be better just to say that Santa couldn’t make it this year. Would that be better?
The first little boy bounced into the store. John rang his Santa’s bell and gave a Ho, Ho, Ho, the young lad looked at him hard, looked back at me and I literally held my breath hoping that we weren’t about to disappoint a child. The adorable little fellow finally exclaimed, “See, I told you he would come”! He jumped up in John’s lap and proceeded to disclose his Christmas wishes as did so many other children who joined us that night. Their wonder and innocence alive and well!
As adults, we can get so “twisted” during the holidays…stressing about little details, worrying about everything from holiday decor to gift giving . Somehow, we grow out of simply believing in the magic of the season.
I am so grateful to my friend John, who never thought twice about being Santa’s understudy when asked, even when he realized there was no beard. I am also totally grateful to the smallest of our customers who reminded me to celebrate the season from a child’s point of view.