I took her to my favorite local restaurant for breakfast this morning and we had a bit of a wait. We started watching the others who were waiting, which included several adorable children. Suddenly, there was a tiny uproar as one boy started hollering “Santa” repeatedly. We peered around the corner to spot the object of his attention.
There stood a man, leaning against a walker, who was a dead ringer for Santa if he was just hanging out with the rest of us. He had a full head of long white hair and a billowy beard to match. His face was round and friendly, with the requisite sparkling eyes. The only thing missing was his familiar red suit.
The man smiled sweetly at that noisy boy and the rest of the kids, who were now calling to Santa, too. In his right hand, this Kris Kringle look-alike gripped a green felt bag decorated for Christmas, looped around the walker’s handle. He reached inside for each child and produced a candy cane, warning each one to wait until after breakfast.
As he made his made through the crowded waiting area, an older gent, probably in his eighties, was heard to say, “Thank you, Santa.” Our St. Nick, who was nearly the same age as his admirer, just smiled and made his way out of the restaurant.
Now, I suspect this benevolent candy-cane dispenser was probably a retired department store Santa, because he certainly had his style down pat. What struck me the most about him was his acknowledgement and enjoyment of the fact that he was the image of Santa to both child and adult. He came prepared with his bag of candy canes, dispensing joy and wonder right along with the striped Christmas treats.
In every one of us, there is a quality that others see, which if we’re lucky we can perceive ourselves. When that happens and the quality is one that brings happiness to others, I firmly believe we should embrace it, enhance it and come prepared to pass it around.
I know someone with a devastatingly wonderful smile who uses it very sparingly because she doesn’t want to be known as the “smiler.” I say, why not? Give that smile away, just like candy canes, to everyone who wants one.
A man I work with doesn’t enjoy being thought of as kind because he feels it will diminish his business persona, yet whenever he lets his kindness show, others feel better and work harder for him. Like the smiler, he hasn’t embraced his inner Santa yet.
Too bad for the world, that neither of these two have realized what a wonderful gift each has been given and learned to spread it around. What about you? What is your special gift and are you sharing it?
Thanks, Santa – for a wonderful moment today.