Santa. Not everyone believes in Santa. Not everyone celebrates Christmas. But, many would say talking about Santa and Christmas now – before Thanksgiving- is way too early. Regardless of one’s belief or my timing, I think we can learn a great deal from the folklore of Santa. He, plumply, embodies giving, loving and caring.
Though Santa supposedly resides at the North Pole, I tell you – he lives in the state of Georgia. In fact, the merry, old elf lives less than 5 miles from our house. And, we get excited when we drive by his house during the ‘off season’ and find him working in his garden (always donning a red shirt). In October, after harvesting his garden, Santa begins transforming his home, inside and outside, into a Christmas wonderland.
Santa and Mrs. Claus have opened their house to their neighbors every year for over 13 years. And by neighbors, I mean anyone who happens to drive by their house. We first heard about our neighborhood Santa at a Christmas party. We were told how this older couple, living off a road we rarely traveled, opened their home to everyone during the Christmas season. Initially, I thought the idea sounded odd. Opening your house to a bunch of strangers? Really? Then, in 2008, we decided to load up the kids and check out this jolly fellow and his wife, Mrs. Claus. Instantly, we were hooked.
This Friday, our family will officially start the 2010 Christmas season by heading to Santa’s house. And, we look forward to visiting him every Friday and Saturday night through Christmas Eve. (We may even go visit him on Sunday nights.) In addition, we will go out of our way to drive by Santa’s during the other nights of the week, just to get a glimpse of all the lights and decorations.
Having Santa and Mrs. Claus as neighbors gives our boys a different perspective on the man who travels house to house on Christmas Eve, delivering presents. Believing in Santa is easy for Joe and Charlie, in part because because they see where Santa lives, and they see him year-round. But the boys aren’t quite sure how Santa manages the gift giving thing in one night. Though really, neither Joe nor Charlie lose sleep wondering how Santa manages his workload. Nah. Joe and Charlie are too excited about visiting Santa; they don’t get bogged down with the details. Plus, Santa gives them a candy cane every time they visit. Every time! Man, that is the greatest thing ever. Just ask the boys.
We are grateful for Santa and Mrs. Claus, who truly embody the act of giving, loving and caring every year. Regardless of your faith, may you grab hold of the spirit of Santa and Mrs. Claus this holiday season and throughout the new year.