Never in my life have I posed as Santa Claus, but I woke up this morning and decided that playing The Big Guy for a bunch of rowdy kindergarten kids might be a lot of fun. In anticipation of this uncommon desire, I rented a Santa suit yesterday for the astounding amount of $40. That’s only good for one day. They don’t rent beards or fancy hair so I had to purchase that. I suppose that’s a really good idea since I probably wouldn’t like to wear a mustache and beard onto which someones DNA resides as the result of a dripping nose, or smoker’s cough. That wouldn’t be good. No sir. It was Diane who made me aware of that danger and the logic behind purchasing, instead of renting a beard.
My Santa day began early this morning. I had to be up, scrubbed, and dressed for a 0815 encounter with 25 wide awake 5-year-olds. I needed coffee, but didn’t get a whole cup before having to leave. Diane was my helper, making sure my uniform was on straight, things like that. My main concern was the fear of my pants falling off. Even though I had a fluffy pillow installed, it was a danger, one I couldn’t see going well at an elementary school. “Santa’s Pants Fall Off In Mrs. Miller’s Class!” It would make a great headline, but would probably end my Santa career on the spot. So, I was careful. The morning went well, and I had a lot of fun interacting with all the children. One of them was our Great Granddaughter Danyell. I don’t think she had any idea who I was even though I quizzed her about her sister Juliette, and Aunts Gilligan and Baylee.
I didn’t get to visit Gilligan’s classroom because she’s in First Grade, but we arrived just when Jeff was delivering her so I got a hug. There was no fooling her. She just ran to me and said, “Oh Grandpa!”, gave me a big hug and ran for the front door. Very Gilligan like.
Back at the house I removed the uniform because my next engagement wasn’t until 1230. I had time to rest and dry out a little. That suit is really hot. I vowed to not wear so many clothes under it the next time.
Jennifer showed up at 1200 because she was my afternoon guide. We arrived in plenty of time for our 1230 visit and it went very well. One victory stands out for me in one little girl who was fearful of coming near me to get her candy cane. Her name was Samantha. We didn’t push it, and just let her be. When the class was assembled on the floor in front of the stool I was sitting on, she was in the front row a little to my left. Mrs. Miller had them sing Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer for me. I glanced at Samantha once in a while and finally caught her eye. Then I slid a candy cane over to her and she reached out to get it. That was great. Then, after the song was done, and all the kids went back to their tables, she came back for a hug. That was better than great.
The afternoon engagements weren’t as dramatic as Samantha, but still fun. I got mobbed by the entire class who all tried to hug me at once before I left. They slammed me into the blackboard and, had it been the morning group, I surely would have lost my pants. Thankfully, for the afternoon trip, I wore suspenders. The danger was gone.
It was a good day …