We went to see the kindest, most gentle Santa I’ve ever met yesterday. He looked entirely the part. Every detail of his suit as it should be. A real bushy white beard and bright ruddy complexion. But he also felt the part. His spirit emanated love and all that Father Christmas in his purest form represents. My children were entranced.
As our turn came, they approached. He asked how old they were, what grade–the expected script for such encounters. Then he gently inquired as to what each might like for Christmas. Their answers absolutely delighted me–from a car, to a ukelele, to a Santa playing a piano! The last answer was thoughtful and gut-wrenching. “More time with my Mum and Dad.” Oh my heart.
Santa told the children he’d do his very best to give what they’d asked, but he also asked if they’d commit to being happy with whatever he decided was best. Each child shook his hand and promised. Then he invited my girl onto his lap. In a low voice, he counseled (both her and me).
“I know you love your parents very much. I know they are so busy and I also know how much you want to be with them more. I wonder if every now and then, you could go and give them a hug when they are not expecting it. A “just because” hug. Do you think you could do that?” She smiled and nodded, her eyes all shiny and wide. I wiped a tear.
You know, I didn’t feel guilty. Her Dad and I are doing the best we can right now to manage family and work and church and community. I simply felt immense happiness that she wants more of us. It might not last. Nor her belief in the magic of Santa. As we snuggled on the couch later, she whispered, “you know, he was a really special Santa. I don’t think he was a helper Santa, Mama.” She got closer and quieter. “I think he was the real one!”
So do I my darling. So do I.
Updated: We found our Santa at the Darien Sport Shop.