For the past three days, I have been helping local kindergartens and pre-schools with their Christmas activities. My good friend Eric’s Santa suit has served us well as I made the rounds as Jolly Old Saint Nick.
One of the school was T-’s, so we made him promise not to say anything to the other kids. Since we have never done Santa in our home, he knew who was in the red suit. The delight on the kid’s faces was wonderful.
At the second school, which provides nursery service for working parents and has children from age 1-6, Santa was welcomed by the older kids, but the little ones found him scary. The tears flowed.
My favorite school was today’s. It is a Christian pre-school, so Santa gets to give a short message and tell how much he, too, loves Jesus. Before going on, while in the dressing room and without beard, wig or hat, a young 3rd grader walked in on me. She was the older sister of one of the students. Our conversation went something like this.
Me: Oh, hello. What are you doing here?
Girl: I was singing.
Me: I see. I heard you, you sounded nice.
Girl: Thanks. So, you are here to dress up as Santa Claus?
Me: I am Santa Claus.
Girl (wide-eyed, mouth drops, snaps to attention): You are Santa?
Me: I am Santa.
Girl: The real Santa?
Me: I am Santa.
Girl: How did you get here?
Me: I flew in on my sled with my reindeer, it’s parked in the back.
Me: Maybe you should get back into the show.
A few minutes later I was playing the part with all I had.
Why do I do it? I am not a big fan of the commercial Santa, but providing this service allows us to deepen the relationships we have with people, which opens the door to share more. And that is why we are here.