Sunday, September 05, 2004

Yes there is a Santa Claus

I have portrayed Santa now for about ten years, Maybe it was my size or my hearty laugh that got me started. My boss at work asked me if I would be Santa for his wife's daycare. He had a suite A red felt suite from Sears, white faux fir around the edges, a plastic belt and a rather cotton wool like beard. They had placed the gifts in a large red sack and tucked them in the back of a truck just outside the house. I donned the gay apparel and scooped up the bag of toys. The children were thrilled. The room was hot and my glasses fogged, the children were amazed that Santa would take time from his busy schedule to pay them a visit. But Santa was blown away when he received a gift from the children. Twelve tiny angels, each one with the name of one of the children, all packaged up in a decorated box from Auntie Faye.
This became a tradition for me, the next year I purchased a better wig and beard. More gifts from the children and Auntie Faye.
The following year I was approached by a brownie group to see if I could be Santa for a Christmas party. I asked Faye if I could use the suite and she said "of course, that's what it is all about"
Well I never went to Santa school so even though I was a father and very experienced with children I was not prepared for what was to happen that night.
Each of the children and their siblings came and sat on Santa's knee. We went through the usual "Were you a good boy or girl?" Like Santa doesn't already know that!!!! "And what is happening at your house?" a good way to find out if the child has both mommy and daddy living in the same household.
Then the big question, "What would you like for Christmas?" Now for anyone who has never played Santa you may think that its a piece of cake. But Santa does not know everyone's financial situation, so if a child asks for an X-Box you don't just tell them there will be one under the tree, you fish around and get them to talk about less expensive things, dolls and cars, puzzles and books.
A young man sat on my knee. He must have been around five, the two front teeth missing. He told me that mommy and daddy said he was a good boy this year. I thought to myself this is easy the battle is half won. I know he is good and mom and dad live together. Now all I needed to know was what he wanted.
"what would you like for Christmas?" Santa asked. "I would like a bed Santa." he replied. No toys, no books no puzzles.......just a bed I thought to myself, as my heart sank deep in my chest. "I sleep on a cushion on the floor" he said."Is there anything else you would like?" Santa asked. skillfully trying to avoid the issue. "No just a bed" My heart almost stopped, he gave me a hug hopped off my knee and sat down. Before I could get my head around what I had just heard another child was on my knee. The next few children came and went a blur of questions bouncing in my head I have no idea what they were asking.
Then a little girl sat on my knee, she was about seven. Once again I asked the question." What would you like for Christmas?"
once again I heard the same haunting answer. "A bed!" Was I losing my mind? it was surreal like a Dickens' novel. It was the sister of the young boy who sat on my knee. The rest of the night was a blur, I was moved deeply by the events of the night. The next day I told the story to my boss, he relayed the same story to his wife Auntie Faye. Next thing I know there is a phone call from Faye. " Can you find out who these children are" she asked? I dug around and found out they were children of one of the leaders from the brownies. I told Faye I knew who they were.
Faye went to all her relatives and told them the story. They all chipped in and went to Sears to buy the children a set of bunk beds. Faye asked if Santa could deliver the beds, I had to decline, you see I knew the people who would be receiving them, Friends of a friend. I told her I would make the call but they would have to make the drop.
Who knows why I would be in a situation where I could pass a message on to just the right people? Faye doesn't have a daycare anymore. I still have the original suite she lent me. Since then my wife made me a lush suite of crimson velvet with real rabbit fur cuffs and collar that we rescued from an old fur coat.I still need to don the suite to really get into the Christmas spirit, but none have every been as memorable as the year it all came together for a family in need and a family who wanted to give.
Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus.
Carl Hird-Rutter AKA Santa Claus Chilliwack BC.
Merry Christmas


At 8:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so very happy that you were there to give a hand. God has a plan for you, if that wasn't it, then there are many more things in store!

Wear that suit in good health and god bless.


Post a Comment

<< Home