I stopped for lunch during Christmas week, and midway through my meal noticed two men sitting down at a booth across the room from my table. The older gentleman had a short beard and was wearing a red and white Santa Claus hat with a white pom-pom drooping down one side.
I'd recently heard about a man and his wife who dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus to earn close to $100 for a 25 minute visit to Christmas parties and homes. With that in mind, I stopped to share that idea with this gentleman as I was leaving the restaurant.
He and his younger companion had been working at 'Meals on Wheels' earlier in the day. Chatting further, I brought up the great money this other Santa and his wife were making performing as the Claus couple.
Turns out he does dress as Santa, but was only wearing his hat that day. He began telling me about all the events where he appears in full costume for the needy, disadvantaged and kids in crisis. He visits schools and pageants to "give children a few words of encouragement."
Butch said he was only given 3 days to live following a massive heart attack 15 years ago. Unlike others, he doesn't dress as Santa for money, he does it to spread cheer and hope in the minds of the youngest, as well as some of us older kids.
His costume was given to him by a church where he appeared for many years at their Christmas pageant. Once the pageant was eliminated, they gave him the Santa suit. Giving... isn't that what Santa is really about? And the idea giving is more blessed than receiving.
So I am here to profess that the real Santa is alive, not only in Greentree, Pennsylvania, but in the hearts and minds of children, young and old, the World over.