Have you ever been caught in a mood or moment where your heart and mind are just rushing with sentimental feelings, memories, and thoughts? It has certainly been one of those days for me. Now, most that really know me, know I am a huge softy that will tear up at the drop of a hat. It might be a great film, perhaps a book, a tender conversation with my children, or perhaps just thinking about life in general...I'm a big baby, I admit it. While I am great at keeping my composure during a visit to the children's hospital as Santa, I can confidently say, I'm a basket cast all the way home until I can hold my own babies.
It's amazing the choices we make and the roads we decide to go down as we experience the unknown and unavoidable turns, bumps, pot holes, and more of life. Sometimes what we thought would happen and have planned for, just isn't what was in the big picture in our lives and I'm grateful that my life has brought me so much excitement, experiences, and adventure. In particular, I am grateful for my journey here to the Santa community and Clausnet.
Portraying Santa has always been something hiding in my life and mind, from my first awful looking beard as a young boy bringing gifts and singing carols to the local neighborhood, to my first "real" suit to bring my first born a magical memory on a Christmas Eve night...I never would have imagined that I would have the opportunity to be someone's REAL Santa. I cannot now, imagine my life without this joy...it is so important to me that I would find it hard to actually express how much.
I joined Clausnet on December 1, 2011. I had very selfish reasons for doing so; I wanted to be better and learn from those that had more experience than I did. What I did not expect were the memories I'd make here and the friendships that would develop, even how much I miss it when I can't visit. It really is so much more than just learning to be a better Santa but also learning to be a better human being. I've learned to fine tune my portrayal, I've strengthened my standards as I reflect on the responsibility of portraying Santa, and I am overall a better person. I've also learned that I'm a sucker for something new and shiny!
Something that I never imagined or thought about really were all of those Santas that would pass from here. I guess I just never thought about the fact that most Santas are older, have pasts mid life and are enjoying their golden years. As I get older, I am reminded more and more as I see people around me, friends, and family leave this life and reflect on what they have left behind. It seems there is even more of this kind of reminder of how precious and short life is around this community. I am so happy that these individuals were able to experience life and found their role as Santa. I have not known these Santas and have not called them close friends as many of you have...but I take my hat off to them for their role in the Santa community and that they were able to spread Christmas cheer as Santa Claus bringing smiles to countless individuals.
I wanted to take a moment to thank you. Thank you for all you do, thank you for your participation here, thank you for helping those around you and supporting the Santa community. Thank you for putting up with my stupid comments that were meant to be funny, and my all too often opinionated posts. Thank you for helping me see the error of my ways and thank you for confirming things that I knew to be true and important in my portrayal. Thank you for helping me be a better Santa, and a better person.
I am excited for what the future holds and I will continue to live my life with no regrets, uplifting and supporting my family, and spreading that Christmas cheer that I felt as a child and hold close to my heart to this day. I hope we can all have a wonderful season, that we can all understand how blessed we are to be able to participate in this wonderful community as we bring smiles to children and adults alike. I also look forward to learning more each day and when the time comes, while I hope it is a very long way off, I pray I will leave behind something that my children, wife, family, friends, and community can be proud of.