Jolly Ole St. Nick sure takes lots of shapes.
As a seven-year-old connoisseur of cowboy boots, it bothered us that Santa Claus had the “strangest boots.” They were actually black plastic leggings sewed onto red pants that drooped over brown shoes.
It was tell-tale sign there was something fishy.
Yet, 53 years later, Santa Claus is one of our favorite folks, be him short, fat, jolly or tall, skinny, grouchy.
Nevertheless, our first look is always at the boots, and he often still has those weird black covers over brown oxfords. We’re going to give him a pair of our $12 gum chore boots.
The beard always fascinates us, too. Some short, others long: all never-seeming quite secure.
However, at a farm show last year, a round jovial gent about five-feet-one walked by, and without thinking, we remarked, “You’re Santa Claus aren’t you?”
“Not today,” the gentleman responded with a broad grin beneath his “real” white beard and matching hair.
“But, I’ve been busy for the past seven weeks or so,” continued “that Santa,” noting the new year had given him time to rest from his fall and winter job talking to ornery-squirmy kids, having babies weep and wet on his lap, and mommas shaking their head “no” when the request was for a pony under the tree.
“That Santa” really has a good life. He gets paid plus can stay home on Christmas eve with Mrs. Claus instead of racing across the cold sky in an uncovered sleigh and crawling down tight chimneys.
While unapparent by his paunchy physique, the cheery fellow insisted he sure misses those treats, especially the peanut clusters.
However, we think of his predecessor, St. Nicholas of Myra, whose generosity to children of all ages remains legendary.
Some claim St. Nick continues delivering gifts, and St. Peter’s Church at Schulte, Kansas, knows that’s the case.
Every year on his feast day, St. Nicholas scatters nickels around the churchyard, so bright-eyed children spend hours gleefully finding them the next morning to support school projects.
Despite a night-before-snow earlier this month, only a single footprint was found, further justifying beliefs.
Yep, Jolly St. Nick is a friendly holiday spirit, but we’re reminded about the real reason for the season in Romans 5:15: “Jesus is the ultimate gift to the world.”