I'm going to be brutally honest and tell you that this Christmas, I just haven't really felt it. Can't actually put my finger on why. Am I blessed beyond belief? Absolutely! Do I have a warm, beautiful little home that's perfect for me and my 2 fur babies? Yes! Food in my tummy and clothes on my back? Yes and yes. Great work with amazing people? Yes! A support system like no other that's allowed me to grow in 2013 and that will continue to allow me to grow by leaps and bounds in every part of my life in 2014? Abso-freakin'-lutely!
So when a photo of a less than jolly, happy Santa showed up in my inbox from my Editor, after my "there's Grumpy Cat'is this Grumpy Santa?" thought, my next thought was, "you're in a mood, Jill! What exactly have YOU got to be in a mood about?" I'll save you the trials and tribulations and tell you that it's about perspective and coming from a grateful heart under mentally and emotionally challenging circumstances. Maybe this Santa just needs a little cheering up himself.
What do you write about a less-than-perky Santa? Um, well, to start with, I think I know this very human incarnate of Santa, and I know he has seen his fair share of ups and downs. I'd lay odds that he sees the people that the other Santas don't see and tries his darnedest to cheer them up. If I saw this Santa somewhere, I'd offer him a hug. Even Santa has bad days!
This Santa sees himself in the people he tries to bring cheer to. I'd venture to say that he's usually pretty good-natured and happy and he likes to share a laugh, tell a joke, and spread good cheer. And he's very good bringing smiles to face that don't smile nearly as often as they ought to. I think this Santa tries to bring merriment and cheer to the downtrodden, the homeless, the people others forget.
Notice I said "tries". I think that sometimes, through no fault of his own, Santa fails to bring glad tidings and good cheer. When Christmas is the anniversary of a death or loved ones are missing, there is nothing Santa can do and that makes him sad since all Santa wants to do is make everybody happy!
But then again, just like mere mortals have bad days, so too does Santa. Honestly, Christmas isn't everybody's cup of tea. I know that's hard to believe but it's true. Not everybody celebrates Christmas, even true believers have their off years and that bums Santa out!
I think this Santa tries to cheer up everybody he meets but the fact of the matter is, not everybody's cheery on Christmas. For many people, it's just December 25, another day on the calendar.
Most of us have a place to go, people who love us, a hot meal and plenty of merriment, too. Not everybody is so blessed and lucky and we tend to forget that. I think this Santa sees that reality in the people he meets and greets.
This Santa ministers to nursing homes, homeless people and children's hospitals and anyone else who needs good cheer. He does his best to cheer them all up, but sometimes, like the rest of us, Santa needs a little bit of mercy, some love, milk and cookies for good measure and a big warm hug!
So on this Christmas Eve just hours before the dawn of Christmas Day and the hubbub of presents, wrapping paper and that flurry of activity that accompanies Christmas morning, it may be helpful to remember that Santa is human, too, and sometimes he needs a friendly "Merry Christmas!" and a hug from a stranger to bring him glad tidings and cheer!