Just after noon today I’ll be interviewing for job as an Internet Santa. I have the potential to work from the comfort of a computer speaking to ill children in the hospital. It is a great gig because there’s no travel from place to place (as is usually the case for Santa), you can talk to a huge number of kids all in one shot and you don’t have to wear long pants. (I have to check on that, but it seems they shoot the camera from the waist up. Perhaps red shorts would be prudent…)
It protects the kids from my germy old hide and any diseases I pick up in the course of meeting thousands of children each year.
It allows me to minister to people using technology (they don’t have to know I’m silently praying for them, do they?)
And, it allows me to work on camera (which I love) in a non-studio setting. (NO hot lights!)
So, if you’re inclined, say a prayer for me about the audition. I know whom I answer to when I put on that Red Suit. God. Only God has blessed me with this ministry and love of the Holy Days. Only God has given me the gift to do this every year. Only God has entrusted me with his lambs.
I appreciate His trust and will do my best to honor those children, their families, my employer, and the client. I walk away from every Santa visit with a smile on my face and a glow in my heart. Unlike what you’ve seen in too many television shows and movies, the great Santa’s do it for love, not money. The guys I know who are really top shelf are making a great wage during the hours they “work” but they do more free visits to the poor and sick than you will ever know. They sponsor parties for the military and the families of those deployed, they go into their own pockets for gifts, candy, cards and wrapping paper, and they give their time. For a group of men who can only earn money doing the thing they love for about 45 days each year, giving a day of your time (or, several in many cases) is a big thing. Could you give 10 days a year to a charity where you didn’t work for a wage?
But most of all, the men I estimate to be the best Santas are servants of the True and Living God. Men of faith and love. Men of dignity (and that includes their silly behavior at times) and courage. Men who take a small child with just hours or days left in their lives into their hearts and share the life within them. Men who cry quietly in their cars when the emotions overwhelm them in the wake of a visit. Men who do honor to Nicholas, Bishop of Myra.
I’m proud to wear that red suit. It’s my favorite. As a matter of fact, I choose to own no other.