Sunday, January 16, 2011
The Jew who saved Christmas - Part 1
Yes, this really happened.
Whilst at Dianna's family's house for Christmas, a problem presented itself: Dianna's teenage cousin had chickened out of playing Santa Claus for their younger relatives, a 4-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy. So who would play Santa and save Christmas?
That's right, baby. Me. Dianna and her grandmother asked me if I would do it and I was overjoyed to accept. I was actually surprised how happy I was to do it. I'm not sure what appealed to me more - getting to help out or the chance to do some LARPing (Live Action Role Playing, and yes, that's a joke).
Her family was grateful, but also took the occasion to make a few cracks. "Remember, Jon, it's 'Ho Ho Ho' not 'Oy Oy Oy.' " Har har har.
They had a red suit set out for me in the upstairs room, and I was going to come out, hand out a few presents and excuse myself to "head back to my sled." The suit was just a tad large on me, so I stuffed a pillow in it and cinched the belt super tight. I had to puff out my gut to keep the pillow in place, and even then it would only stay put for a minute before it slipped out my coat.
I put the suit on over my dress slacks, and was happy that my black shoes seemed to match the traditional Santa ensemble. There was a white fake beard on a string, which I put on and then immediately felt my body temperature raise by 15 degrees. I opened the window and took a drink of the gin and tonic a family member had brought me.
I was concerned about my glasses. I needed them to see, and thought stumbling Santa falling down the stairs might just ruin the magic of the occasion. I was assured that Santa too wore glasses, so I was fine.
When the family had assembled in the next room and gave me the signal - "I think I hear reindeer on the roof!" I came out ringing a holly berry with a bell inside and gave my best "Ho Ho Ho!" The family erupted into laughter and joy. "Look kids! It's Santa!"
The kids were seriously freaked out. They had met m on a few occasions, but they didn't recognize me, which was a success. The failure, however, was that seeing Santa on the second floor of their grandparents house was scaring the hell out of them. The 4-year-old girl shied away from me when her family tried to get a picture of us together (although she took my gift). The toddler seemed charmed and confused, but he liked his toy cars. At least they didn't cry.
I bid everyone farewell and started to leave when my pants started falling off and my pillow gut started showing. Dianna did her best to fix my suit while I hurried out of there. I changed in the laundry room, waited a few minutes and then returned.
TO BE CONTINUED