For about 13 years my father in his retirement has been bonding with young and old in a way few in this lifetime are privy to, he is a Santa at our local mall. Some would say ‘the Santa’ (although he would blush to hear it), as they seek out his scheduled-sits and often have consecutive years of his shining smile and twinkling eyes with their little one posted-proud on their fridge.
My dad is an extraordinary man and is no less than this in his role as Kris Kringle. From senior exec at Proctor and Gamble, sales rep for the Ford Motor company is Africa, to Opera House chairman and real estate agent to free up time with family, throughout his life, despite position or rank, he has been a man of great compassion and unsurpassed humility.
Not a surprise really that he would, after years of dedication to the clean-shave, quite by fluke grow a bushel of white beard and turn it into a win for hundreds of families.
He is no ordinary man in a red suit. He embodies all that the spirit of Christmas has come to mean, not of material means but of the virtuous ones… Kindness, generosity, joy, gratitude, hope and love.
13 years ago he almost declined this offer to serve, as he was concerned with the commercialism of it all, but as a man of innovation always, he found his way to quietly weave truth into connections.
He has this way about him that authentically celebrates the human spirit and the element of the Divine in all living beings.
In myriad ways he has brought this honoring to the children who sit upon his lap and the parents and guardians who bring them.
I thought I would share with you some of his whisperings…
– “What is it you would like for Christmas?”
They lean in and tell. The parents sometimes worry about whether he’ll be able to deliver.
And so he leaves them with this,
“That sounds wonderful. Just remember, you may not always get what you ask for, but you most certainly will deserve all the wonderful things you do receive.”
There have been teary eyes and notes of gratitude left by many a parent for this;)
– “Do you see these two candy canes? Flip them upside down and put their hooks together and, what does it make? “A heart,” you say. Why you’re right. Do you know why? Because the most important thing at Christmas and always, is love!”
– “Are you the real Santa?”
“Hmm, what do you think? Do you know what I think? I see that Santa Sparkle right there (and he stares into their big, wondering eyes). That Santa Sparkle is in you and alive every time you share your love.”
There is no question how much I admire and love my Daddy. I am blessed to not only have him as my father, but my dear and treasured friend.
Today the boys and I wanted to celebrate his magic and all he brings, not only to us, but to the world. And so we made healthy Chickpea, Coconut, Carob Christmas Creature Cookies 😉 Want a belly like a bowl of jelly, but no too so;)
There are people who come into our lives who enrich our journey beyond words, and we must never miss the opportunity to celebrate their Santa Sparkle and, in ways small and large, let them know how they light up our world.
I hope this sparks ideas in you to connect, reconnect with those you love and find ways to let them know just how much their Santa Sparkle delights and ignites joy and love within you!
In celebration of your twinkle,