Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happiness in a Red Suit

The children are gathered at the edge of the living room carpet.  All ten of them.  Their high cadenced  voices clashing and meshing awkwardly beneath the white lights of the Christmas tree.  The adults join in.  They can't resist.  How could they?  It's magic.  We're on our second time through the song.  Surely the neighbors can hear us by now.  A cacophony choir of good cheer.  "You'd better not cry, I'm telling you why...Santa Clause is coming to town..."  And the door flies open.  Snow swirls about the foyer and wind whistles around the banister, rustling the garland and stockings hung there in hopes of Saint Nick.

And there HE is.  Fresh from storybook pages.  Velvet suit and snow-white beard.  Surprise.  Excitement.  Joy.  Terror. The wash of emotion through the sea of children is vast.  He rings his bells.  He ho-ho-ho's and shakes his round, red belly.  From his mighty sack he delivers a special toy to each shinny girl and boy. He is Yuletide magic.  He is happiness in a red suit.  He is Father Christmas and he is REAL!

And just like he came, in the wink of an eye, he is gone back into the storm, the wind carrying a lingering, "Merry Christmas!" as he is lost from our sight.

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