Confessions of a Department Store Santa

1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

What warms the heart of Kris Kringle?  Never thought I would be in a position to know.  But I had the opportunity for the last two Saturdays to don the beard and hat and spread some Christmas cheer at a local department store.  I must say I learned a lot filling in for the “big guy.”  I first learned that even small children aren’t afraid to throw their friends under the… umm… sleigh.  The first child I came up (about 4 years old) had an urgent message to tell me:  “My friends…  have been bad.”  Ouch!  Squealing on your friends to Santa!

The second thing I learned is that adults are far more gloomy than teens and kids.  I heard plenty of “It’s not Thanksgiving yet!”  and “You’re an awful skinny Santa.”  One lady told me to get away from her until after Thanksgiving!

Lastly I learned how important a good reputation is.  Saint Nicolas (270-346) had such a reputation for charity and love, that all one needs to do today is don a costume in his honor and that individual will be showered with warm hugs and ‘I Love You’s.  I feel I have received blessing after blessing based upon the virtue of another man.

But what warms a Santa’s heart?  It is this… witnessing gratitude.  I walk around our little store and hand out peppermints to everyone.  When I hand one to a child you would have thought I had given them a bar of gold.  Some parents have to remind, but most of the time I hear from these young ones those magic words:  “Thank you, Santa.”  Some of the teens and adults say this as well.  It warms my heart that such manners are still being taught and executed.  This lesson will take these children… and adults far.

How about you?  Do you have someone that you are thankful for?  Have you told them?  Bet it would warm their heart!

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