Happy Holidays everyone. Last Friday I must have received over 300 hugs for I was Ms. Santa Claus for the children’s holiday party at my job. I had never done that before and figured I would give it a try. I must tell you that it was not that easy.
At first it was exciting to see the young smiling faces and the appreciative parents but after a while my head hurt. The wig was so tight I felt my brain would ooze out of my eye sockets. The glasses indented the bridge of my nose and the sides of my head. Yes ouch!! My face hurt from all the smiling. There were so so many photos! This all occurred after 30 mins and I had volunteered for the entire 4 hr shift. What was I thinking? Now I understand why when I mentioned it to coworkers they all said good luck.
After an hour my mouth was parched. Thank goodness someone had placed a water bottle below my well decorated chair. I chugged it like a lost soul on a desert. I then decided to look beside me and was surprised by what I saw.
Santa dear old Saint Nick was a coworker of mine named Jesse. He is in his 60s and just had major back surgery less than a year ago. If I wanted to plop on the floor he surely must have also but I was so wrong.
Now it was nearly three hours later and he bellowed out his laughter with the same energy and passion he had when he first had started. “Ho ho ho Merry Christmas. What grade are you in? “ He had this twinkle in his eyes and his cheeks were rosy red. I had only a wig on but he had the hair wig, the fake beard that wrapped around his head plus the hat.
I asked him if he was tired. Did he need a break? Did he want water? Was he uncomfortable in his outfit? His answer was no I’m okay. I was floored and then learned he played Santa every year. Would you have done it? Would you work a full day as manager of facilities and then sit for 4 hours without a break and barely drink water?
That’s exactly what he did. How did he do it? He told me he loved being Santa because it brought him joy to see the smiles on the children’s faces. I then decided to see the world through Jesse’s eyes and something inside me clicked.
All of a sudden I had a burst of energy. Nothing hurt anymore or perhaps I was just numb from the tight wig but I was happy. Every time I looked at Jesse I was overwhelmed with love and appreciation for his personality, his compassion, his patience and his great love for Christmas.
Jesse is my hero and I admire him today and feel blessed to have witnessed it so close-hand. Superheroes in the movies get dressed up and save the day. Jesse put a costume on that day and saved so many. There were parents that could not afford to purchase their children a gift, there were adults including the NYPD that had glimpses into the joy that they had lost. I’m referring to the joy you have when you are young and believe in Santa Claus.
He saved me that day too because as Ms. Santa Claus I could also make a difference in someone’s life. I was reminded that if the driving force in what we do is love then nothing else matters. Love makes pain and fatigue dissipate. I see now how Jesse sat 4 hours without a break and barely drinking water —-it was love. His Merry Christmas at the beginning and at the end were said with the same joy because of love.
Thank you Jesse for being wonderful. You are truly a super hero. I was Ms. Santa Claus that day and I feel proud to have volunteered beside you. I look forwards to volunteering next year again.
With much love
Hugs from Brooklyn