As I hustled off yet another silver bullet at Newark airport pondering the wonders of the holidays I noticed the side view of a very large man, tall with white flowing hair and a beautiful full white beard, prinked with a bright red suit: a giant black buckle and very tall black shiny boots.
Could it be? No one else in the bustling airport seemed to notice him. Never one to limit the scope of direct examination I walked briskly and confidently towards him, sang-froid both in mind and heart, when he suddenly turned, looked directly in my eyes smiled and laughed in perfect concert: “Peter, so good to see you again!”
I recall meeting Santa one late night when I was so young, in a different place and time. When there were no bills to pay, no down trodden economy to ponder, no investments to fail, no job to lose or secure. Just smiles and giggles, tucked warmly in my home, dreaming of that special, generous and happy day of presents ahead.
I asked this jolly man: “Santa, what are you doing here at Newark airport and is there anything I can do for you?” Santa’s smile faded and he said “I landed here before I return directly to the North Pole because I have a quandary to ponder. You see, each year for our Christmas day celebration I bring something very special for Mrs. Claus’s dinner table, something delicious for our hard working elf’s and lots of chocolate treats for my jaunty reindeers. But this year I have no toys built, no money left for Christmas presents, no time to plan because I’ve been working so hard to prepare for the special day ahead. But seeing all the energy and passion of travelers dreaming of Christmas day ahead with their families helped me to realize the greatest opulence in gift is simply thanking my family and friends for their love and giving them the best I can, each and every day”.
Santa’s bright smile returned. He presented me a shiny white box with only one word on the lid, the present for his Christmas table up north: “Goodness!” He opened the box and all that was inside were these lionized words: “Goodness is the only present that never fails… Merry Christmas!”
Santa closed the lid, gave me a big jolly hug and whisked away into the crowd to return to his sled and reindeers for his ride home. I will always remember this special moment and the spirit of generosity Santa delivered within his heartfelt words and thoughts. The spirit of generosity of so many caring and sharing colleagues, friends, relatives, neighbors and strangers.
Wishing you and your entire family anywhere and everywhere on our beautiful planet a very happy, healthy, safe and blessed Christmas, Chanukah and any other caring and sharing holiday you may celebrate with your family.
And as Santa says best: “Thanks for giving so much in small and big ways… and for all your caring gumption in goodness and extra care and giving each and every day for all those we meet, all those in need.”
All my very best for a very happy, safe, healthy and blessed family holiday, Peter
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