The Santa Experience by Valerie J. Patterson

I’d only been married four months when I had my first Santa experience.  This may seem odd, you know, since I was a child once.  However, this Santa experience was of a different making.

Being a newlywed, I really wanted our first Christmas to be special and memorable so I decorated our apartment with loving care, made certain all the packages for my new husband were wrapped and under the tree in plenty of time for Steve to study them and try to guess what was in each package.  I even took a candy-making class so I could make some yummy treats just for him.  This was also the year I bought my deluxe Santa Claus suit.

I’m not kidding!  Full suit: beard, wig, boots, belt, and fur-edged red velvet suit.

We began a new tradition that first Christmas.  We spent Christmas Eve with my parents and intended to spend Christmas Day with his parents.  That meant midnight Christmas Eve was all ours.  Steve bought a bottle of champagne and we exchanged presents.  Once all the wrappings were cleared away, I stood up, kissed him on the mouth, and told him to get comfortable because I was going to slip into something more comfortable.  Then I excused myself and went into our bedroom where I changed in my new Santa Claus suit.

When I came back into the living room carrying a red sack with a few presents I’d hidden in the bedroom, I found Steve stretched out on the sofa sans shirt and socks.  When he noticed me in the doorway, our eyes met and I knew instantly he was NOT prepared for how I was dressed.

That story gets told at least once a year and I can still see the exchange of looks between Steve and my Dad when the story was first told at my parent’s home.  But that Santa suit has brought a lot of memorable moments since that very first year.  I can remember dressing up to surprise my nephews on Christmas Eve for many years until my oldest nephew, Scott sat on my lap and–in answer to my question of what he would like–he said, “Well, Aunt Valerie, I’d like …”

My jaw dropped and my eyes watered as I laughed myself hoarse.

I can recall people–complete strangers–waving to me on the road as I drove to work dressed as Santa.  It’s funny how someone–anyone–dressed as Santa can bring a smile to even the crabbiest person.

The Santa suit’s been retired a couple of years now.  Its elbows and knees are worn and the beard has seen better days, but the memories woven into the fabric of that old suit will live on forever.  Have you ever had a Santa Experience?  I’d love to hear it.

Christmas–the birth of Christ–is about incredible love.  I hope all who read this got a smile, and I hope you all have a very blessed Christmastime.


18 responses to “The Santa Experience by Valerie J. Patterson

  1. Sharon Zimmerman

    You certainly bring a story to life! My favorite part is that I know the characters. What a fun story. It brought a smile. Merry Christmas!

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Aww, thank you for coming by and for reading and leaving a comment, Sharon. I appreciate that. Indeed, you know the characters so I know you can imagine the look on Steve’s face when he first saw me! Merry Christmas to you and the family. I know those grandkids will make yours so very very special! 😛

  2. Aw, how sweet! Thanks for the giggles on a crazy Friday morning. 🙂

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Hi Jamie, thanks for reading, and you’re welcome for the giggle! My work here is done. lol Merry Christmas! 😛

  3. I hope you have a very blessed Christmas too! Loved your story and it did bring a smile to my face. My Santa memory is every Christmas Eve at my in-laws on Southside of Waynesburg, for many years, there was a wonderful Santa who would come and visit the children. My nephews and nieces were so happy and then after we had Jason, he as well. His name was Hal Funk and he has passed on now, but gave many children such joy. My in-laws have also passed on, but we have wonderful memories. Thanks, Valerie.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Oh, Kim, what a lovely story you shared. Thank you for reading and then commenting. I never knew Mr. Funk, but it sounds like he brought a lot of Christmas joy to many people. I’m sorry you have so many empty chairs at your table, Kim. I know that too well myself. Merry Christmas to you and your family. I hope the blessings of the season are plentiful for you!

  4. Oh, yeah. I’m grinning from ear to ear. What a lot of memories that worn out suit holds. This smacks of a Hallmark Christmas movie. Thanks, Valerie. I needed some inspiration to get into the season. 🙂

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Hi Laurie! Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m glad I brought a little giggle to your day. I hope you’re breathing a little easier about the holiday preparations. Whatever doesn’t get done maybe didn’t need to be done to begin with.

      Merry Christmas to you and your family! 😛

      PS. Will you contact Hallmark or should I? lol

  5. HOW FUN!! And I can imagine the look on your husband’s face. How wonderful that must have been. What a super tradition! Have a wonderful Christmas and be sure to tell us about the latest Santa caper.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Hi Jillian. Thank you for reading and commenting. It was a fun tradition, and I had hoped to carry it out for my own children. Don’t have any yet, but haven’t given up hope. Merry Christmas to you and yours! 😛

  6. That’s got to be the best Christmas story I’ve heard in a long time. My favorite Christmas was when my family went snowmobiling for a week over the holidays. We got snowed in and couldn’t get to church, we thought Christmas was ruined. We light candles, my mom got out the Bible and we sang. We had our own church service, just the five of us and it was awesome.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Oh Vicki! What an excellent story. Church can happen anywhere two or more are gathered in His name. I’m certain He was honored by your faithful gathering and celebration of His Son’s birth. That’s an awesome memory. Thank you for stopping by to read and to share! Merry Christmas to you and your family. That new granddaughter of yours will certainly make this a marvelous Christmas for you all! 😛

    • Oh, Victoria. You just helped me remember one of my favorite Christmases. It wasn’t snow, it was ice that kept us from midnight mass. Our three daughters were SO disappointed. So I grabbed every bible we had (amazingly, we had four of them) and asked each daughter to pick out a passage. We darkened the lights, lit candles, and everyone read their passages. It brings tears to my eyes to remember this special Christmas Eve moment. Thank you!

  7. I’m late popping in today. My days are a little, okay a lot off schedule. I usually read OTBF with morning coffee. Loved the visual of that old suit. Yes it could easily be woven into a beautiful Christmas story.

    Merry Christmas

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Merry Christmas, Lavada, to you and your family! Hopefully things will calm down for you soon. As always, thank you for reading. 😛

  8. Valerie J. Patterson

    Laurie! Isn’t that just the way things go? Shame on Hallmark for missing out on this opportunity! 😛

  9. You are so talented, Valerie! I loved the story very much! I’m sure in the back of my mind I heard it before. lol!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s