I used to think that playing Santa Claus, being Santa might be a better way to say it, was something that everyone should do before they die; now, I don’t. Still, for folks who believe in Christmas magic–my wife has won me over; I am a convert; I believe in it just as sure as I believe coffee is going to come out of the pot when I put the right things in and turn it on–if you ever get the chance, I highly recommend it.
I was fortunate enough to be Santa twice, and it was long before I believed in Christmas magic. Still, it was a pretty magical deal.
I served as president of our chapter of the National Foreign Language Honor Society, Alpha Mu Gamma, and we did events throughout the year. We were always scant in number, so it was all hands on deck. Since we were all taking classes or teaching classes, and doing everything else that goes along with college life, these situations were always so hodgepodge. Somebody can’t be here until a certain time because of something, and somebody else has to leave early because of something. We just pasted it together as it came, and it always seemed to go pretty well.
Then, we got to the point my junior year when I was the only male active in the group, so it befell on me to play Santa at the annual deal we did for the kids at the university’s day care.
It was kind of a standard deal; there was probably pizza and candy and whatever, then a certain number of students would read a story to the kids in the language that he or she was studying, and then the kids would get to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him when they wanted.
Since we were shy in number—there were probably five of us, no more than six—each person had various jobs, which meant there were exchanges to happen and locations to change. I remember this one having some kind of refreshment area that was in a different room from where we read stories and Santa came.
So, not only did I have to play Santa, but I think I had something to do with the refreshment part earlier, then I had to read a story in Spanish, and then I had to break away to change into the Santa costume. Then, after all of that, I had to play Santa.
Anyone who has ever played Santa knows how nervous it is that first time. You’re about to be Santa, for crying out loud. You’re about to embody something that for some kids is the best and holiest thing they know. And that’s just who you’re going to try to be; the more terrifying aspect is what possible crazy things they might ask.
What crazy things they might ask, indeed.
I’m not trying to create a cliffhanger, but I’m trying to keep these posts closer to 500 words than 1000, and I’m afraid I’m going to have to finish this tomorrow.
Much love, and thanks for reading.
Ho ho ho