top of page

Once upon a Santa...

Updated: Dec 2, 2020




I don’t like to wake up early in the morning. It is always cold in the Bronx this time of the year. But this morning was different. I had to get up early to pick up my suit from the cleaner before work—a new temporary job during Christmas. It was a challenging year; my retirement fund was not enough to get what I had in mind for my grandkids.

I was assigned by the employment agency to work as a Santa fill-in for the neighborhood department store. Not the Herald Square Macy’s, mind you, but it was a job. They must have liked me to hire me from amongst many applicants. But, I fill the role well, two hundred and eighty pounds, full head of white hair; what else do you want?

Yesterday, the third day on the job, a little girl emptied her stomach on my newly acquired red suit. In the beginning, I didn’t care for the job; I didn’t hate it either. As a matter of fact, despite my little encounter, I grew to like it until today.

I checked in at the Santa’s department desk and muttered, “Good morning,” to my young lady helper. She nodded, in return, with a smile and quickly pointed to the waiting crowd.

“Ho Ho Ho,” I shouted aloud as I walked in, and the kids started to cheer.

I sat on my throne, taking one kid at a time. For some Santas, technology was helpful. All they had to do is text the kids’ wishes into an app. In turn, the parents get the messages on their phones. Not so for me. I am an old fashion paper notes guy.

After a few successful rounds, a little boy brought by his mom sat next to me. As usual, I asked, “Okay, kid, what would you like Santa to get you?”

He answered, “Nothing, I am Brandon.”

Oh, one of those, I thought, as I looked into his sad-looking eyes, “Why nothing? Don’t you want me to bring you a beautiful red fire truck with real headlights?”

Brandon, “No, it is not you; you know.”

Surprised by his answer, I asked him, “I know what?”

Brandon, “He is different.”

I asked, “Another Santa?”

Brandon, “He is so big and and”

I cut him off, “Another Santa, in another department?”

Brandon, “No, he fills the whole world.”

I got it, “Okay, kid, I get it; you mean God.”

Brandon, “Yes.”

I knew I had a real one on my hand, “You want God to do something for you.”

Brandon, “Yes.”

I changed to my baritone voice to assure him that I can help, “I can help you.”

Brandon, “Can you? He is so big, and he can do anything.”

In a softer tone, I said, “Of course, I work for him.”

He was a tender little boy; must have been two and a half or three years old. We were taking too much time, and the line was too long. I looked around for his mom, the lady who brought him. I couldn’t see her. She must have withdrawn to the back of the room, I thought.

Brandon, “Do you know him, believe in him?”

“What?” I said, and to myself, who is this kid.

Again, with my deep voice, “Of course, I believe in him, I am Santa.”

Brandon, “Because if you don’t know him for real, he will not answer you.”

Wow Wow, this is getting heavy; the kid is trying to recruit me, I thought.

I stood up, looking around for Melinda, my young lady helper. She noticed and came for my help.

Looking at her roster, Melinda approached, “Hi, Brandon.”

Brandon, “Hi.”

Melinda, “How are you doing?”

Brandon, “Good, and you?”

Melinda smiling, “Very good. So, what do you like Santa to get you.”

Brandon, “Not him, he can’t.”

Melinda, smiling no more, “Then who, Brandon?”

Brandon, “God, you know.”

Melinda, recognizing the dilemma, slowly separating her words, “Of course, Santa can talk to God.”

Brandon, “But if you don’t believe, he will not answer you.”

I had to interject, “Brandon, we believe. I can talk to him.”

Brandon, “That he died on the cross to save us.”

Wow Wow, I thought again. Looking at Melinda, “We need more help.”.

Melinda, “I will get his Mom.”

Brandon, “She is not my mom. It’s my aunt Judy.”

Melinda went looking for his aunt as the parents and kids around us were getting impatient.

I asked him, “Brandon, where is your mom?”

He did not answer. I thought boy did I hit the wrong nerve.

But then, Brandon changed the subject, “Do you know why Santa’s suit is red.”

I answered, “Yes, of course, I have to be visible so you can see me.”

Bandon, “It’s the blood.”

Alarmed by what he said, “What blood? Are you hurt?”

Brandon, “No, it is the color of blood; his blood.”

Puzzled and somewhat losing my cool, I asked, “Whose blood?”

Brandon, “Jesus.”

Oh boy, not again, I thought; this kid will make this day too long.

Brandon, “It is your covering, the blood.”

I was baffled by his answers and questioned, “Who told you that?”

Just then, I saw Melinda rushing back with his aunt, thank god. As she got closer, I noticed her teary eyes.

Melinda stammering, “It’s his mom, in the hospital.”

Judy, “My sister was in a car accident last night. It doesn’t look good. She was to bring him here this week, but now that she can’t, he insisted on coming to tell you about it.”

I couldn’t help but gasp aloud, “Oh God.” I didn’t care about anything around me; I fell to my knees next to him to pray to the one who can heal his mom.

Today, I love my job.


39 views0 comments

Comentarios

Obtuvo 0 de 5 estrellas.
Aún no hay calificaciones

Agrega una calificación
bottom of page