I’m not sure which side of the coin I am on regarding “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”. I only know that I enjoy…whatever reference you would prefer, please place here _________________.
So, I enjoy the “C” or HH” holiday (henceforth in this post to be ascertained as CHH.) I am a total sucker for houses and businesses lit up with lights so bright that a pair of sunglasses sill will not displace the glare. I love Christmas trees (sorry, that is how they are referred to, my politically correct friends. “Holiday trees” just doesn’t quite have the right ring to it.) CHH presents, both the giving and the receiving. Holiday or CHH music, especially renditions for Frank Sinatra, oh, and Dean Martin. I always envision Dean holding a tumbler of bourbon & ice when I hear his version of “Let It Snow.”
But I think I love the idea of Santa Claus most of all. I have gone through the process of believing in him, then not believing in him to believing again. When I was about six years old and visiting my Grandma Cherry’s house (we would take turns visiting Grandma Cherry and then Grandma Berry, no kidding) Santa Claus came one Christmas Eve. And to top it all off he came about 6:0 pm while me, my brother Greg, and cousins Pam and Debbie were still awake! He also came later to leave presents under the tree after bedtime. That man was very busy that year. But on stop #1 to Grandma’s house he left me a “Walking Doll”. Now, back in the day that was the trendy gift for the season. Every little girl dreamed of getting a Walking Doll for Christmas. I named mine Sharon. Don’t know why. I didn’t know anyone named Sharon. But Sharon was beautiful. And whenever I showed her off to my friends I would say that Santa handed me Sharon personally when I met the real Santa on Christmas Eve. Oh yeah, and do not substitute Holiday Eve, PC friends, that doesn’t cut it either.
But as I got older and so much wiser I quit believing in Santa. He didn’t come around personally on Christmas Eve any longer. And then when I had kids and had to assemble Barbie wedding chapels and dream houses I believe I even said some nasty things about Santa. Like, where are you when we need you – you old chimney scaling crusty coot!
Then I got older again. I haven’t had to play Santa for a long time. And then I semi-retired. I only work occasionally. But in my work and in my volunteer-work as well I have found Santa again. There are so many people; so many , that need so much. They need clothes, beds, warm meals, meals period. And they need those intangibles; love, support, acknowledgement.
So, you know where I found Santa? Everywhere. Santa is at the homeless shelters, the clothes pantries, the food kitchens, the shelters for abused women. SC is the man that puts the 25 cents or the $25 in the Salvation Army kettle. He’s the woman that takes her mother out of the assisted living home she lives in for the day and for a nice dinner out. Santa is the child that visits his or her friend in the hospital while being treated for a childhood cancer or grave illness. And the best part is that Santa doesn’t just appear around the holidays but every day of the year. If you just believe. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a holiday or Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanza or Ramadan. Santa’s there. Happy holidays!