by R.T. Fitch
It was the dark early morning of December 26th, 2021, the morning after Christmas.
I looked around my home office and my spirits sank; strewn about were the remnants of a magical life I had been so totally immersed in that it almost blocked out the madness that the rest of the world was wallowing in.
Carefully draped over the back of my easy chair was my bright red, furry Santa coat with the matching pants and suspenders laid across one arm. The simulated fur topped boots were propped up against the sides with the white gloves, big buckled belt, jingle bells and the signature 5’ cap on the seat. All resting, all silent, a whisper of magic still lingering in the air.
On my desk lay a red cap that proudly said “Santa Claus” with another right next door with the bill bordered in white and a white button on top with the greeting “Merry Christmas” embossed upon the front.
In the corner was the traditional big red bag stuffed with empty boxes so that it could be carried easily, and the flashing Christmas Light neckless rested upon it’s bulging cinched top.
“It’s all over.”, I sighed as I began to plan to pick it all up, send the suit to the cleaners and pack it away until next year and, hopefully, another joyous season of walking in the light while wearing the red suit.
And then I recalled that inside the big red bag I had saved every single letter, picture, list and note that each and every child had brought to me over the past many weeks. Each one personally read aloud as they sat upon my lap and opened up their hearts and bared their souls with their upturned faces, searching for a response from my eyes and lips.
I pulled the bag to my desk’s chair and began to read, slowly and with intent.
Carefully I attempted to decipher the writings that must have been painful and often excruciating for the young writer to pen.
One by one I sifted through the varied sized and colored papers as their warm messages began to reach through my eyes, into my heart and ultimately zeroing in on my soul.
A warm tear landed on the last one and almost smudged the word “Love”.
I paused, closed my eyes and watched the season replay across the inside of my eyelids; the hugs, the smiles, the bright eyes shining with excitement, a few stressful tears that were resolved once the young one could truly absorb the input and the warm feeling of joy, wonder, and love.
Looking at the crinkled stack of papers before me, I became awash with the warmth of love and compassion. These notes were not just listings of what young believers wanted to receive but an outpouring of honesty, hope, compassion and love.
How could I be so blessed.
I thought I heard a distant jingle and looked back at the suit in the chair as it almost appeared to glow in the early morning darkness and if clothing could smile, it would have.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of tiny hands had touched it, sat on it, petted it and hugged it while the very blessed being that was lucky enough to be inside of it was me.
I rolled over to the suit, picked up the hat and said aloud with a smile, “It is not over, the spirit remains and although you may be cleaned and tucked away until next season, we will mutually retain the memories and the warmth. This is just a period of rest as we prepare for the next time when we partner to walk in the light and share the love.”
And with that I stood, smiled and knew that even though I would not be in the red suit, the spirit of Santa would remain alive within my soul. I would carry on and walk in the light while honing my skills of patience, compassion and love for my fellow man.
Christmas is not over; it is just the beginning and Santa has gone nowhere, as he lives in my heart and should be in the hearts of everyone who has touched the magic and welcomed the warmth.
Truly, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good life!”