What Santa means to me….

As a mother for 26 years now, I’ve been visiting Santa Claus for quite some time. Myself and my sisters, husbands and kids favor the Arnott’s Santa in Dublin city centre. It has become quite a tradition with my family and every December, we head off really early on a Saturday morning to try get ahead of the very long queue to see the precious fella.
Mostly all of our children come with us. The youngest is ten and the oldest is 26, (Ok, he doesn’t come, yet. Soon to be married, soon to be a parent! He’ll be back!)
We merrily chat to all of the other parents while waiting the many hours, enquiring how long they have been coming to the ‘Real’ Santa. Everybody regales their tails of when they found him and why he is so special. I look around at all of the families of all ages. They come from all parts of the country and it’s quite amazing to see the mix. There are posh people, common people, poor people, rich people, foreign people, educated people, all talking to each other, admiring each other’s children, sharing seats and cups of coffee. Despite what goes on outside Arnott’s doors or where ever else all of our shared problems lay, we are all in the Christmas Spirit.
Arnott’s is an old but refurbished department store, so it has a state of the art luxury and modern design. The Christmas design this year was full of sparkling delights. There were Santa sacks and sleigh bells; There were lego reindeer! Brilliant! And a great idea, ‘Take an Elfy of yourself!’ There was a huge relaxing area where families could chill and watch some Christmas movies and the wonderful staff were as wonderful as ever!
 The only snag was that the new air conditioning system was on heat instead of chill and by the time it was our turn to see Santa, we had discarded all of our Christmas jumpers and drank half a dozen bottles of water. It was like Christmas in the Bahamas during a heat wave!
 We gave a huge cheer as we finally headed in behind the deep velvet curtains to see the delightful Father Christmas sitting in his comfy armchair beside his fireplace. ‘Hello Santa!’ We all chimed. Looking at this genuine old man with a real beard and his own bit of belly fat, dressed handsomely in red. He smiled widely at us all. ‘Tell me all about yourself now,’ he asked each of us in turn. ‘What are you looking for this Christmas?’ He took his time and showed an interest in all of my teenage nieces and nephews and they in turn showed great respect for this dear old man. And what were they looking for from this kind old man? They of course know that this Santa will not deliver their iphones or laptops, or designer clothes. So, why were they here?
They came to get the magic that Santa gives. The magic of Christmas Sprit. Of sharing and caring.
 And giving of oneself. Because for this one day of the year, we all can.
Santa Claus may be a figure of mystery and fantasy for little children, but as we grow older, Santa Claus stands for giving. Being in the Christmas Spirit and sharing your time and yourself with family and friends and anybody that may need you, is what Christmas is all about.
And that’s where the magic is.
Merry Christmas xxx
Jean xxx

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