Many years ago when I owned a salon in Tiburon, California, I was thumbing through <u>The Ark</u>, the local rag, when I ran across an article about a client’s son, a noted real estate developer. I was surprised and pleased to see this pillar of the community was playing Santa for a group of children. Naturally, when later that week, my client came in for her regular visit, I said, “Polly, I see that David is playing Santa. What brought that about?”
“That’s what he does,” she replied.
When I gave her a puzzled look, she expanded. “Every Christmas he is Santa.”
Still not clear, I pressed for an explanation. She related the following story.
Many Decembers past, when David was still in college, he found himself at a bus stop near some apartments. I’m sure you know the kind: a row of windows below sidewalk level. One window was cracked and through it he heard a father berating his children.
“No, goddam it. There’s no Christmas. There’s no Santa. And you’re not getting any presents. Me and your Mom are going to the bar and you’re staying here. Shut up. I don’t want to hear any more about it.”
Outraged by what he had heard, David resolved to do something about it.
On Christmas Eve, he and some friends watched until Dad and Mom left for the bar. When he was certain they had vanished, he knocked on the apartment door. The children opened the door to see David dressed as Santa and his friends dressed as elves. They had brought a tree, ornaments, presents for the children, a gift for Dad, one for Mom and a complete Christmas dinner.
Once the place was decorated, Santa and his elves departed. To this day, he doesn’t know if, on their return, the sotted parents realized the profound gift they were given, or simply trashed everything. The one thing he does know: those children would never forget.
Although I am late in wishing it, whether it is a holiday you observe or not, Merry Christmas.