Saint Nicholas’ role in ‘The Season’

“Here comes Santa Claus in the front seat of the grocery delivery wagon.”

That was nearly five decades ago when Mom insisted we step in for the Jolly Elf for an annual visit to the community rest homes, which were good customers at our store.

Quite contrasting  to the real fellow, though, was the nearly six-foot-tall kid weighing about 80 pounds.

While we’ve grinned at some of “Santa’s” outfits this year, ours then was even more laughable: red pajamas, cowboy boots and a mask

However, the important thing, every one of the residents got more into the spirit of the season. And, when we delivered groceries, they’d ask: “How’s Santa doing?”

Even more humorous had to be when we filled in for Santa at the rural electric company’s Christmas party.

Our only saving grace the two years we did it was that Trigger and Pat, the palomino Shetland team, brought us in the bicycle-wheeled carriage.

Most of the guests were more interested in them, and the neatly wrapped gifts we’d been asked to distribute, rather than us.

This time we wore one of Santa’s own outfits that somebody borrowed, but loose-elastic supposed to keep the fake-beard over our face let it keep slipping off.

No matter how old we get, there’s still a skip to our heart when we hear Santa is visiting.

Traditionally, the hometown Christmas parade is quite small, and one year we rode our black stallion, Ambrose, as the only entry. A year ago, we drove Mae, our bay mare, with the high-wheeled cart, and somebody asked  if we’d bring Santa next time, so we got to do that last week.

Santa forgot his long johns, thus there were teeth chattering intermingled with his: “Ho Ho Ho.”

While Santa must get some blame for Christmas becoming such a commercial affair, often almost overlooking the birthday party for Jesus Christ, it is good to remember that there really was a St. Nicholas.

In his spirit, and that of our Savior, it is important that we  reach out into the community to make this a season of giving and service to our neighbors.

Reminds us of Hebrews 13:16: “To do good, and to distribute, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” Christ is still the reason for the season. Merry Christmas.