I Believe: A Chance Encounter with Santa
I don’t know what other name to call you, so I hope it’s OK if I stick with that one. I just wanted to tell you how wonderful it was to see you at our local restaurant last night. Such a nice surprise! When I saw my daughter (Anna, as you know) smiling in shy recognition at someone across the room, I expected to turn around to see her teacher or one of her classmates. But instead I saw you, in all your white-bearded, spectacled glory, enjoying a quiet meal with Mrs. Claus. In a Harley T-shirt and jeans. No matter…the kids didn’t need to see your red suit or reindeer companions to know it was you. I’m sure your celebrity status allows you little anonymity at this time of year.
I don’t know what you thought when three-year old Kellen stood up in the booth and loudly yelled across the restaurant, “Santa! Wemembah (remember) when I met you at the mall last year??” Suddenly, all eyes in the room were on you.
But instead of acting bothered, you kindly got out of your seat and made your way over to our table. You knew my two little believers needed your acknowledgement. They stared up at you with surprised, starstruck eyes, and Kellen fumbled for compliments to bestow on one of his greatest heroes. “I weally like your shoes, Santa. What kind of beard is that? It’s white – just like the ceiling!” Then Kellen told you how much he liked how you drove a train and some other things he’s seen in Christmas movies recently. You chuckled and nodded along and validated every opinion. When I reminded you that we will be away from home in Missouri on Christmas Eve, you told the kids that of course you knew and had the trip all mapped out. And you told them to be sure to leave you some cookies at Grandma’s house. You can bet they will! Thanks for the reassurance, Santa. They have been pretty worried about you leaving presents at the wrong house by mistake.
You should know that after you left our table, Kellen kept repeating to himself over and over “I can’t beweive we saw Santa at the westauwant (restaurant). I just can’t beweive it!” And Anna was convinced that you must have been doing last-minute checks to see which kids were really being naughty or nice. I wholeheartedly concurred.
I just think that seeing you by chance and recognizing you “incognito” made it SO MUCH more special for my kids than simply standing in line to see you at the mall, Santa. They felt so…privileged. I know you didn’t have to do it. You didn’t have to say hello or ask them what they wanted for Christmas or let my son hug your arm and tell you how much he loves you. But you did. And they will never forget it. (My only regret is that I didn’t get any pictures to help ME remember it!)
Thank you Santa. You have restored my belief in the kindness of random strangers, at the very least. May you be blessed tenfold for your good deeds! And may you have a very Merry Christmas indeed.
Kate (Anna and Kellen’s Mommy)
Twitter ID: @Bostonblogmom
Photo Credit: hyekab25.