I was on a book tour this week and at one point stopped at a Christmas tree farm. It was the middle of the week, but the parking lot was packed out and at one end sat a couple of school buses. Children and parents were all over the place. I've been in situations like this before and know how easy it is for Santa to be mobbed as children see him. Somehow, I had to get from my four cylinder sleigh to the barn without a lot of attention. As I considered how to do this, my wife called and wondered how I was doing, so I told her of my predicament. She laughed. She thought it was pretty funny.
She was about to have even more to laugh about. As I prepared to get out of my car, another two school buses full of kids pulled into the lot and parked directly across from me. Every window on my side of the buses had eyes and noses pressed against it looking at me.
It is part of the territory of being Santa. Doesn't matter what time of year, or where you are at. I've had children turn around in church and wave at me and whisper back and forth all giggly. Frankly, I get a lot of attention from grown adults, too.
So what do I say to people and children who stop me? I tell them a little about who Nicholas was and why he was so beloved. And then I ask them if they are secret-givers like Santa, people who look out for others in need and give to them. Being a secret-giver is more about who we are and who we follow. Nicholas was a believer in Jesus and from that love, he learned to love others and give unselfishly to others.
Being a secret-giver is never out of season. It can be done anytime, anywhere and to anyone who is in need. It is one of the true joys of being human.
So let the children come. I have a wonderful message to tell to anyone willing to listen.
Oh, and, Merry Christmas!