Christmas Elves and the Sleigh Ride

Twinkling blue eyes, rounded belly and a height of 6′ 5 made my father from Norway an enviable Santa Clause. Each year he was chosen to play the role of St. Nick at the Fiesta Bowl Parade in Phoenix, Arizona. Mind you Phoenix is never warm enough for a full Santa suit. My father didn’t mind and was always the giving type. His light blue eyes and naturally pink cheeks made him the spitting image of the beloved holiday character. He never needed padding.
Riding in the fire engine with children of the firemen we couldn’t tell the others which one was our dad. We merrily accompanied him dressed as elves. Complete with pointed ears, green shiny costumes and very pointed shoes. After words we got the shock of our lives when we got home from the parade. Standing in front of our house was a huge sleigh. Hitched to the back of an old car. In our full gear we toured the snow less busy city streets. Listening to the honks of the horns watching memorized people stop to take pictures. We still had candy to pass out among the stressed – out motorists. A simple smile and toss of candy was enough to put a smile on anybody’s face.
When evening arrived we went to visit a home for special needs children. My sister and I assisted in passing out gifts to each of the children. Their eyes were as big as saucers as they waited anxiously for their name to be called. The eternal joy they expressed in tears and hugs was so emotionally gratifying. We didn’t have the snow, horse-drawn sleigh or the luxuries that folks in snow country receive during Christmas. We did however, bring joy to many that day. That really is the meaning of it all isn’t it? Remembering why we have the season and showing love and compassion to all. Wish it could be that way for an eternity.

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