- Consumer Info
Thomas Lico, Capital Title Insurance Agency
The garland and lights are wrapped around the lampposts lining Main Street. The shopping malls are decorated as well and the newspapers are littered with the Christmas sales. We have all enjoyed this view of the holiday, but have you ever had the fortunate experience to see Christmas through the eyes of Christmas?
Santa Claus and Christmas go hand-in-hand, and to put on the red suit, hat and beard gives you a perspective that will change the way you look at the holiday. In my 20 years of playing the big guy at private parties and shopping malls, I’ve accumulated many wonderful stories. The most noticeable and consistent experience is being greeted with a warm smile and a wave of hello by all, 100% of the time. Everybody loves Santa because nobody has a bad “Santa” memory.
There was one experience that does stand out above others. It was during a Saturday morning youth bowling league. In between games, the kids would sit on my lap and tell me what they wanted for Christmas. They had a young woman in a red dress to serve as my helper. It was the regular routine – kids sitting on my lap telling me they had been good and what they wanted in exchange for that. Sonya, my helper, then introduces me to Kevin. “Well hello Kevin,” was my greeting. “How old are you now?” “Seven,” he quietly replied. “And what do you want for Christmas?” His responses will forever be ingrained in my memory. “I would like my mom to find a boyfriend so she’s not so alone.” Hardly expecting this response, I replied, “Ok, what else would you like?” “My dad to get off the drink because he’s mean when he drinks.” Sonya is standing behind Kevin with tears now running down her face and mouthing to me, “Oh my God.” “What else would you like?” was all I could respond with. “My little brother to get the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that he really wants.” “Is there anything you want just for you?” “No. That’s it,” was his reply.
I was stunned. I just had an innocent 7-year-old boy tell me his life was miserable and he didn’t want to be miserable anymore. All Kevin was asking from Santa was to be happy. Seven years old is the golden age for believing in Santa. You’re old enough to understand it and young enough to believe wholeheartedly. But Kevin had already figured out at age 7 what most people never figure out – that if the people closest to you aren’t happy, then, the material things in life are meaningless.
This experience changed my view of Christmas forever. As the 25th of December nears, I look at the people closest to me to see if they are happy. If not, then what can I do to make a positive difference in their lives? Their happiness will translate to my happiness and that is the only gift I ask for. If just being “happy” is a good enough present for a 7-year-old, then it will always be good enough for me.