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There is a Santa Claus December 6, 2009

Posted by michaelnjohns in Uncategorized.
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Christmas is coming. We took our kids to see Santa Claus today. They are acquainted with Santa Claus, and know that he has many incarnations. Our favorite is “Grandpa Claus.” “Grandpa Claus” is the real thing. He has a suit and hat, a real beard and moustache, real boots and a real belt. He bears a striking resemblance to Grandpa Gracz. He knows all the kids by name, when he visits the local Boys and Girls Club, schools, and libraries. And he gives the best presents. We’ve seen Grandpa Claus every year for several years. But this year we’ve seen 2 other Santas. They were jolly, merry souls who did well, but weren’t quite the same somehow. We met one who was in a parade. At the end of the route we caught up with Santa and Mrs Claus and took pictures of our kids with them. And we met another today, for more pictures, to share Christmas wish lists, and free Christmas cookies which all made for a wonderful experience.

We made our kids write their Christmas letters to Santa today, to tell him what they wanted for Christmas. They both wrote a brief salutation and then basically a list of things they wanted. We advised them that Santa reserves the right to pick and choose if the list is extreme. My son made the very practical request for just a little more than $3 billion dollars, which he may not bring.

I wrote a letter to Santa today too, because it’s only fair if I am making my kids write letters. Besides, I got to write out the list of things I wanted for Christmas. My letter was heartfelt and disclosed small wants like a shop vac and a hunting knife, but also my desire for a good job as a writer, and for a good but affordable gift for my wife.

We then went to see Santa Claus. My son went right up the stairs and minded his manners (not pulling Santa’s beard as coached by his sister) and sat by Santa and told him what was on his wish list. Then, with some coaxing, his older sister climbed the stairs for a photo op and an audience with Mr. Claus. She shared a shortened list, forgetting some of her items in the anxiety of the moment. She later shared that he smelled like crayons.

Not to let the moment go without a bit of fun, I myself climbed the stairs to chat with Mr Claus. There weren’t any kids in line so I sat by him for a moment and a photo of my own.

And then something happened that I didn’t expect. He stayed in role for me, and took me just as seriously as any of the kids. It He asked me what I wanted for Christmas for myself, and we sat chatting about the list of things I would like this year, and about life. He asked if I had written a letter and then he read it. He said that he hoped I would get everything I needed and wanted. And then there were kids coming into the building so we all went down the stairs to give them a chance to talk to that magical man who smelled like crayons and had listened to my wishes, and discussed my real-life concerns like an old friend.

After our kids picked out a cookie, we all waved good-bye and he saw us at the bottom of the stairs through the glass doors and waved back. There is a Santa Claus. Maybe there are several kind men who carry the spirit of Christmas in their hearts and help Santa do his work. If you see Santa this season, I hope he takes the time to really listen and care about you and your children like Santa did for us today.

May you personally experience the magic of Christmas this year, and not just in your hearts.

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