Moments of Christmas Magic
Santa, as usual, required the aid of his dutiful wife to get himself garbed in his famous red outfit; she lastly handing that “right jolly old Elf” his capacious red bag of goodies, as he lumbered out the door and into the bracing chill of a Sanpete December night.
In lieu of his customary red sleigh, Santa’s mode of transport on that particular evening was Spring City’s largest fire engine, which sat idling loudly in front of his house.
Climbing gingerly up and into the passenger seat, Santa greeted the kindly fire chief behind the wheel, with a friendly elbow bump, along with his most famous exclamation: “Ho-ho-ho!”
Chief and Santa sat together in the cab of that hulking machine, awaiting the pre-appointed signal.
Mere moments later, a disembodied voice came crackling over the two-way radio speaker, informing the chief that the hundreds of colored lights strung around the enormous fir tree in front of the city’s community center had been lit, eliciting gasps of delight from the assembled citizenry; the children’s choir was currently entertaining all present with assorted carols; and thus, Santa’s jolly and jingly presence was urgently requested at that central locale, amid as much extraneous noise and commotion as could be possibly mustered.
So, cranking up the siren, switching on those blindingly bright, red flashing lights, and adjusting the interior dome light directly toward that white-bearded Saint-in-Red, the accommodating fire-chief roared off down the street to deliver his famous passenger.
As Engine #15 went blaring its way up one sleepy street and down another, out burst startled, flabbergasted folks, onto their porches, certain their neighbor’s house—if not their own—must surely be ablaze!
As they stood there, however, agape and bewildered, something in that improbable scene they beheld—the jovial, red-clad Saint Nicholas leaning out of the cab window, and bellowing out a mirthful, “Merry Christmas!”—transformed their anxious befuddlement into genuine wonder and awe.
It felt like a tiny Christmas miracle, as Chief and Santa both witnessed the marvelous metamorphosis of stressed and panic-stricken faces being transfigured into delighted, knowing smiles, and accompanied by warm waves and enthusiastic shouts of the Season’s Greetings.
Soon enough, the fire truck would come screeching to a halt, and be immediately surrounded by dozens of giddy children, all breathlessly gathered to catch a glimpse of that red-suited Granter of Gifts. And Santa, basking in all that collective fascination and amazement of so many young innocents, would feel his heart considerably warmed, as he always did during such tender moments.
But, what warmed Santa’s heart even more on that memorable evening, were all those jaded and care-worn grown-ups, who’d come bursting out of their front doors in frantic alarm at the hair-raising sound of an approaching siren, only to experience themselves wondrously reverted—suddenly, almost magically—just for a few precious seconds—into their own wide-eyed, awe-stuck, and innocently believing young selves of yore. And all it took to effect such a wonderful alchemy was the unexpected and welcome sight of a grinningly gladsome Saint Nick.
It does Santa’s heart great good to be reminded that there is still some magic in Christmastime, and that his unmistakable visage can yet evoke those pleasant childhood memories that we all have and hold dear; and hopefully even help kindle that spirit of generosity, and of selfless giving.
It’s still there, burning within the hearts of all—young and old, and everyone in between—even in a year as unpredictable and somewhat vexing as 2020 has been: that sense of Wonder, and of Joy, and of Peace, and of Goodwill.
And, for this particular part-time Santa, this has become a buoyantly hopeful realization; one that he will not forget the next time his wife helps him into his velveteen suit of red, in preparation for another venture out into the cold and weary world, to spread the cheer of the season.
And, perhaps this reaffirmation might serve to infuse a little extra exuberance into his signature “Ho-ho-ho!” And maybe even a bit more wholehearted vibrancy into his familiar exclamations of, “MERRY CHRISTMAS!”
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