Friday, January 6, 2017

Being Santa Claus

Christmas or the "Holiday Season" for all you political correctness weirdos out there is a magical time of year.  People seem kinder, the air is full of excitement and joy, and most notably the short fat white guy is in high demand - the one time of year everyone wants to be around that dude; I am a short fat white guy.  As many of you may know I am not a huge fan of miniature or wannabe people; most of you call them children.  The small ones are cool cause they just look at you and stuff, but mobile talking kids - not my cup of tea in general.  Interestingly enough though I absolutely and undeniably love being a Santa.  Am I discovering some deep need to connect with children?  I am feeding my inner desire to bring peace and happiness to the masses?  Or am I fueling an deep seeded lust to be the center of attention?

How We Got Here...

Like most things that happen in this place the answer is simple - Brittney O'Daniel called me...and I can't say no to her.  Not because she my brother's girlfriend that makes the best kitchen fried steak ever, but because she does such amazing things and I would like to be a part of that - a very small part as I am lazy, but a part none the less.  So I agreed willingly to be the Santa for San Pedro Pre School; and once I met my helper Elfs I was even happier I agreed!

It was such a great day - only an hour or so long but SO MUCH FUN.  I had the easiest job, just sitting and handing out gifts; not really sure what could be better.  Only one child was scared and cried at me, several couldn't get enough hugs and kept coming back.  One little girl came up about 5 times after she received her gift, in between other children, just for another hug - which I gladly gave out as often as requested.  Here the seed was set...and a Santa was born!!

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished...

As such San Pedro Town Board found out about my Santa ways and was quick to hop on the line of invites.  I kid you not; my second Santa gig ever was for the #1 TripAdvisor rated Destination in Central America for 2016.  Only one SMALL issue - I didn't own the outfit (yeah..."outfit"...since costumes are for fakers and I ain't fakin' nothing!!).  So thankful for my favorite Elf Carolina letting me use the suit again.  It still sits in my house; I'm looking at it right now.  Most of you know I'm usually great about returning things fast; and I tried.  Maybe I fear that after I return it she'll have no reason to see me as long as I have it she's gotta chat with me right?!

Huge numbers of gifts were given to countless kiddos on this glorious day; I heard 1500 or so...sounds high...but I'll go with it.  3 great memories and I'll try to be brief:

This one tiny girl balled and cried and wanted nothing to do with me.  So with a quick pat and "Feliz Navidad" her mother took her away; and she belted out from the other side of the room "FELIZ NAVIDAD SANTA" through her cries and tears.  Perhaps those were tears of joy...

Cindy (who just delivered me the most amazing creamy chicken bacon pasta - if you don't subscribe to her food you's amazing - call her 624-4659) came in to do actual business with her youngling "Tinker" in tow; as she walked past she immediately recognized me and asked her mum (cause they're it's mum not mom) "why is Kendall dressed like Santa? Kendall, take that off right now! If you don't I'll call Santa and tell on you!"  Which she most obviously did since I had NO gifts under the tree this year...Tink...I'm coming for you in 2017! Though I'm sure she's 10 steps ahead of me already.

Found this one out a couple days after - Charlie works at Ecologic Divers (basically IS Ecologic, our longest tenured team member by a long ways) and he reported this to me - his little ones came in and got their gift and picture with me at Town Board.  The didn't say a thing so I thought I got away un-recognized.  That night as he was tucking them in one said "Dad, I have a big secret for you.  You better be real good at work because Mr. Kendall is SANTA CLAUS!".  Well Charlie made the eternal good list last night saving my life...another story for another day, but basically he pulled me out of the ocean in rough shape at 145am...eternally grateful...yep another day for that story.

Christmas Eve and Santa was Busy...

My Aunt Dee and Uncle Chris like to bring Christmas Joy to people, especially since they spent Christmas away from their grand kids and down here with so many cute kids that have need of help. They took it upon themselves round up a few staffers at the hotel they stayed at and got gifts for every kid of every employee there.  Helping them hand out stuff was Santa gig number 3!  I didn't think I was gonna have the Ho Ho suit for this one so I wore what my Aunt had acquired - yes, that's a Santa hat and tree skirt around my neck.  I've looked dumber before - hard to believe...but I have.

Big Time Santa...

Photo Credit - Laurie Norton,
How the final gig came about I'm not quite sure; but two friends (Jake and Trevor) messaged me with in moments of each other with the same question - will you be Santa at Dixie Bowen's Christmas party? YEAH...duh!! That's the big time down here! No one that has desires of being a Santa and is in possession of their marbles turns that down.  

So I roll in, eat some great food, drink some yummy drink, and slink away to change into the suit - which is a really nice one.  We get into the living area and before heading to the changing room Lady Bowen asks where my helper is (Jake was there, drove me there introduced me to San Pedro High Society, but she was meaning a female Elf).  We quickly identified and selected Erica as the appointed elf for the night.  Lady Bowen instructed Jake to "go get Erica to help Kendall get changed; make sure she has a drink...she's gonna need it." I'm all excited fairly certain this gig involves a "Bad Santa" type moment - much to my chagrin it did not; but I'm sure Walter (Erica's awesome boyfriend) is happy about that.  

So we rolled out in the super cool cart, I read the Night Before Christmas to a fleet of kiddos, handed out some gifts, posed for some pictures, and held a baby that was TOTALLY dead to the world.  I'm sure the next day that kid saw the picture and thought " didn't wake me up for SANTA!!!" Okay likely he didn't care, but in my mind he did.  

Where it Ends - A Life's Calling...

So I think being Santa is my life's calling.  It was pretty rad.  I totally enjoyed ever second of it and when I took a lunch break at Town Hall I ate as quick as I could so I could get back to it!  

Ah Christmas.  A time of joy and love; family and friends; pain and sorrow.  We all put on a great face, but I wonder how many of us really feel that way all the way through; versus how many of us have a pit in their gut trying to get through.  I believe that we've 'commercialized' to the point that we all simply mask something.  I don't know what, and it's different for all.  Christmas is my favorite time of year, I enjoy spreading joy as well as receiving joy; but there's always been something below...something sad yet unknown.  From when I was young enough to recall to this current holiday I both enjoy sitting in near silence, with just low playing Christmas music in the back ground, and I dread it.  Maybe the extreme joyous highs make the drop to even a slight sadness seem that much worse?  I don't know...

Those that know me well know that I do not interpret emotions.  I feel them, but they confuse me and its terribly difficult for me to discern with any accuracy what's really going on.  It is with this empty feeling that I am confused.  I wonder if the extreme joy I feel during this season just 'needs' to be offset with a bit of felt 'sadness and loss'...I think that's what I feel.  Don't get me wrong people, I'm not depressed; love the Holidays.  Just seems like a double edged sword every year since I was a kiddo.  Extreme joy battling profound sadness.  A sadness for what reason I can't identify.  Worthy of note is that my tree was bare this Christmas and that didn't make it worse!  So it's not a gift thing (PS my family and brother got me awesome stuff, but as Santa I forgot myself!), I don't know...I'll worry about it next Christmas I guess.  Which means I won't worry about it then either!  The joy always FAR out weights the rest.

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