’Tis the season

It’s been a busy few weeks and I’m sure many of you have either seen editor Chuck Kajer or I out and about at the vast array of Christmas celebrations, Santa visits or holiday workshops.

I have to say with the snow we received this past weekend it has helped make it seem more like Christmas. It caused a few people to decide to not venture out, which I can understand. I had planned to head out of town to visit some friends the evening of Sunday, Dec. 11, but after hearing how the roads were a bit slick, I decided it was better not to. I also heard how some drivers were going through their nearly annual reminder to slow down, it’s icy out there. When it comes to snow I usually become a cautious driver, especially during storms. One time, years ago, I saw a car do a 180 across more than one lane on Highway 35W going south in the Cities. The car ended up facing oncoming traffic in the far left lane. Thankfully not a lot of vehicles were out and everyone was taking it slow, so the first car didn’t hit any other cars. Also, there was just one car in the far left lane and that driver was able to stop in time, but there was maybe just a few feet between the vehicles’ bumpers. It was one of those times when just as an onlooker, my heart started beating faster and then I breathed a sigh of relief at the outcome.

On a different note, the Santa visits are great to see with the vastly different reactions from families. There are some children that as soon as they see the man in the red suit, they shout “Santa!” Others are far more shy and don’t want to look his way. Then there are a few who are shy at first, but then spend most of the time looking at Santa. During more than one Santa visit, the jolly elf has suggested that parents get their youngsters used to him, by showing pictures of Santa to the children so they may not be as shy when they come to visit.

During Frieden’s Evangelical Lutheran Church’s Christmas for Kids, I had one child ask me about Santa. I explained that Santa can’t be everywhere except for one night of the year and he has helpers that bring him the children’s lists. There are times when I’ve thought about being a Santa helper (my beard is getting white enough), although I think for me Father Christmas might be better as I’m a little more on the slim side. We’ll see what happens, but if anyone has suggestions don’t be shy to let me know.

Being at the Santa visits reminds me of the ones I made when I was a child. Most of them were fairly simple with Santa seated and maybe a Christmas tree nearby. Others were more of an event where the children could watch a short movie or two and then visit with Santa. It kept the youngsters occupied while the parents could go take care of some shopping. There was one of the Santa visits that was relatively simple and the people running it were taking photos of the children with Santa. Some of the photos had the child and Santa looking at the camera, others were more candid with the child talking with Santa. For years my parents had a photo from that event where I’m telling Santa what I wanted for Christmas.

For the remainder of this year and the coming new year, I hope that you and your families know many blessings and gifts.