Saturday night I was honored to be Santa at a family Christmas gathering. These people have a lot of kids, so I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. Yes, I own a Santa suit. I drove around town on my golf cart wearing it on Christmas Eve a couple of years ago. And stood out on the causeway waving at cars. It was fun.

So I arrive at this venue and present myself through the front door. Ho Ho Ho. Merry Christmas. There was really very little reaction at first. One young man rolled over in his wheelchair for a hug. Another guy came over and got a candy cane. Then I looked up and there were about 25 kids standing there staring at me.

It was really interesting to see the different reactions from the youngsters. Some kids are really afraid, and even scream if you go near them. Some are kind of aloof. And some just love you and stand there smiling. Want hugs. Want to sit on your lap.

I know all of these people, and my own grand kids were there. The oldest was pretty smug because he thought he knew it was me. The middle one came up at one point and examined my face close up. But he seemed satisfied I was genuine. The smallest wouldn’t come near me. I don’t think any of the others doubted me at all. And why would they. Believing in Santa is one of the most fun things we ever get to do in our lives.

As I was leaving, giving parting hugs, I had a minor wardrobe malfunction. I bent down to hug a small little girl. As I stood, my beard became entangled in her hair bow and started to pull my beard off of my face. Fortunately her grandma was right there to disentangle us quickly. Lesson learned for a rookie Santa.

Good times!Santa