Thursday, December 8, 2011

Happiness in a Santa Suit

If you are involved in schools, you know that the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is hard.  Everyone is tired.  Teachers are trying to wrap up units before the long break and students are getting slammed dunked with work.  Add to that shopping (which I hope to begin this week), the economy, family pressures, and the political nonsense that comes with every job, and you have a perfect recipe for being grumpy and feeling sorry for yourself.  That is exactly how I have been feeling – out of sorts and unmotivated – counting the days.

Then this morning I got a call from the office that they were in need of a Santa for a lunch event.  My first impulse was to say no – I am way to busy and tired to even think about it – but they told me their first choice for Santa had turned them down.  So even though I was their second choice, for some reason I said yes.

The school actually owns a Santa suit.  All I had to do was show up and they would dress me.  So I did, and they did.

Before I tell you what happened I need to give you some more information.  I am short and stout and have long gray hair and a longish white beard.  Basically, I am Santa, which no one seemed to notice until I put on the red suit. 

I start walking down the hall and immediately run into a bunch of elementary school students on their way back from lunch.  Next thing I know kids are pointing and waving, and then some break loose and run up to give me a group hug.  Just like that – spontaneous happiness.  Pretty cool. 

So then I arrive at my destination, which is for seniors.  There I stand in my red suite, no beard or padding required.  The seniors start coming down the stairs in small groups and I start my Ho Ho Ho-ing.  They are astonished.  I kid you not, one girl actually feel down when she saw me.  These students know who I am – I teach and have taught a lot of them – and they are 17 and 18 years old.  But for those few seconds when they first see me I am Santa.  Not a Santa, but THE SANTA.

This is great stuff.  I go everywhere in my Santa suit and everywhere I go, people are smiling and actually glad to see me.  Just imagine that – EVERYONE is glad to see me and EVERYONE is smiling – including me. 

Now the suit if off but there must still be some red fuss stuck on me somewhere, because I am more positive and happy now than I have been in two weeks.  Who could have guessed.

Happy Holidays!