Years ago it was a shortage of “Santas” at the school where I was teaching. The elementary teachers were trying to find somebody to play that role for their students’ Christmas pageant. A year before they hired a Santa from a cab company but, with his jeans sticking out under Santa’s pants and with not so many skills to fit in “Santa’s shoes,” the school didn’t want to take that risk again.
I didn’t know how that happened, but I decided to be Santa. My colleagues received my idea with enthusiasm, so I went and bought a Santa suit for myself. They said I looked “good.”
The school celebrations with me as Santa turned out hilarious. None of the children nor their parents recognized me, as I performed my role with a deep voice. I remembered this little girl looking at me in awe.
“Santa, you are so beautiful.”
I barely could keep from laughing and was thankful for the long beard that covered my face up to my eyes.
A few parents waited for me at the end and hired me to drop by their house on Christmas Eve. One of them planned to be my driver for that evening. When some of my friends heard about my new hobby, they put their names on my list, too.
It was Christmas Eve and we were singing carols at my church. After a while I rushed in one of the rooms and changed into Santa’s suit. A car was waiting for me outside in the snow.
We rolled from one address to another. The children were delighted to have Santa come by with gifts. They recited poems and sang carols and I had a blast.
I kept being Santa for the next few years until we moved far away.
There are still former students among my friends on the social media who greet me with “Ho! Ho! Ho!”