I spotted Santa Clause in an unexpected place this morning. He was roaming around our house. It has been years since I've experienced the kind of anticipation for the jolly old bearded bearer of gifts to arrive that I've felt this year, so it caught me off guard to see him before his traditional Christmas Eve landing.
If the premature arrival didn't throw me completely off the Santa Clause is Coming to Town sleigh, his appearance did. He looked younger, skinnier, shorter and much more accepting of razor blades than I remember. He looked a lot like Elliott.
"Is that you Elliott?" I asked
"Look daddy, Santa Clause hat," the impostor answered.
There is only one creature this side of the North Pole who refers to me as daddy, at least in a language I understand. Itwas Elliott. The hat that scared him to death yesterday was now a fashion statement.
I am cherishing this first Christmas that Elliott has an inkling of what the season is all about; what it's about for a two year old that is. It is a joy to drive him home at night as he points out every Christmas tree (any Ashland pine tree qualifies), Santa Clause lights and the inflatable lawn ornaments. I suppose part of the joy this year is reliving my childhood. A bigger part is realizing that the special magic of Christmas that disappeared when the boy next door told me there wasn't such thing as Santa Clause never really left at all; it was just patiently waiting to be rediscovered. I am grateful that Elliott is leading us on that journey, a trip that will provide many thrills for all of us.
Keeping his fascination with Santa alive, Elliott looked up at this Christmas card today and asked:
"Where'd Santa Clause Go?"
Katie told him that Santa had gone to take a shower. Elliott accepted that and moved on to his next activity. It really is going to be a Joyeux Noel, if not a downright hilarious one.