Monday, November 22, 2004

Santa -bear rides again!

I watched the movie “Elf” this past weekend with the kids. I found it funny and it brought back thoughts of the Christmas season that I spent as Santa. This was about 10 years ago. I was not one of the high class Mall Santa’s. I worked at one of those chain department/grocery stores. It was part time, about 20 hours a week for 4 weeks, plus the employee Christmas party. I do not remember the pay, and I do not think I cared either. What can be more fun then a playing Santa Claus?

The job interview was pretty basic; I think they hand these suits out to any Tom, Dick, and Kris Kringle that can fill out the application. Got my schedule and headed off home.
I was really excited about this. I modified the suit so that it was better. Little adjustments and added a belly. This suit had no stuffing at all.

My first day I showed up, changed in the employees break room and meet my “Elf”, Shadow. Yes, his name was Shadow. I know this was true because his nametag said Shadow. Shadow thought he was Michael Jackson. This is the mid-90’s Michael. The dark clothes, the couple strands of hair in front of his face, and the Mickey Mouse voice.
Yes, he was strange, but hey he was my elf and I accepted him as he was.

So we went out to my Santa Land, a chair over between paints and plumbing and house wares. Elf Shadow gave me a plastic Halloween pumpkin filled with candy canes to give to the happy children. Elf Shadow then stood beside the Polaroid camera and waited for the huge rush of children.

Okay, there was never a huge rush of children. A couple kids here and there. Mostly I talked to Elf Shadow, walked around, and said “HO HO HO” a lot. Well, and fell asleep a couple of times. That suit was comfy. The chair was comfy. I tried to avoid sleeping of course. I was working. Also, imagine falling asleep and then having Elf Shadow waking you up. That will fill your stockings with coal. Also when I was asleep, customers would mistake me for a display.

“Mommy! Can I get a picture with that plastic Santa?”

Over all, me and my Elf Shadow, did a good job.

I could answer all the questions the kids asked. Whether about Power Rangers or wrestlers or Pokemon.

Explained to one child that I was not the real Santa, just a Santa’s helper. He liked that answer.

The good aunt who brought her niece to see Santa, and even sat on my lap for the picture. The aunt was so good, she even gave Santa a kiss and her phone number! Helped me keep my chestnuts warm that winter.

The two girls, in their late teens, (I stress late) that asked Elf Shadow if they could both sit on Santa’s lap and get a picture. To which Elf Shadow replied: “Is that legal in Michigan?”

The only bad incident involved two teenage boys. I was coming back to my chair and there were children waiting. These boys were walking by and decided it would be fun to pull my beard down in front of the kids. I was pissed. I motioned to Elf Shadow to follow me and we went after the creeps. We cornered them by the door.

I have often thought what must have gone through their heads, when they turned and were confronted by an angry Santa and Michael Jackson. The first look was shock, followed by blind terror when I said, “You guys better get out of here, or Santa and his Elf are going to kick your ass!”

They left. Very quickly.

So the season ended. I said good-bye to Elf Shadow and never saw him again.
I do like looking back, thinking about all the pictures that were taken that season. That I am sitting on someone’s mantle, in a Santa suit, and there is a chance that I will always be there. If not at least brought out every season.

3 Comments:

Blogger CarpeDM said...

Firebear, this was great. I loved it. I especially enjoy how you add those little touches that make it your own - the Tom, Dick and Kris Kringle, the I knowthis was true because his nametag said Shadow. But the part that caused me to snort (and scare co-workers) was this:

I have often thought what must have gone through their heads, when they turned and were confronted by an angry Santa and Michael Jackson. The first look was shock, followed by blind terror when I said, “You guys better get out of here, or Santa and his Elf are going to kick your ass!”

They left. Very quickly.

Absolutely classic.

11:12 AM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

These are the ones I loved: "Yes, he was strange, but hey he was my elf and I accepted him as he was." and "I have often thought what must have gone through their heads, when they turned and were confronted by an angry Santa and Michael Jackson." :DDDDDDD

1:55 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

Firebear,

Totally cute! I liked this post and I enjoyed how you can look back and smile. That's wonderful.

I laughed and I smiled reading this. Thanks.

Beth

10:08 PM  

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Desert Shield/storm vet. I am the one at work who comes up with the ideas on filling up those non-work hours. (ok, who is up for canoeing this weekend?) After several wrong turns, have finally found the love of my life.

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