Editor's note: This blog was originally posted online on Christmas Eve in 2010. Merry Christmas from BizTimes!
Not to be confused with THE Christmas story, I would like to conclude the year with a Christmas story. And a lighthearted, silly little one at that, as a holiday diversion from the gritty issues of the day that are typically tackled in this space.
I'd like to go back to the day before Christmas Eve in 1997. As per usual, the December Wisconsin ground was covered with snow. And as per usual, I had put off a lot of Christmas errands that should have been done earlier in the month.
Perhaps the most important of those errands was taking our two sons, Justin (age 7 at the time) and James (age 4) to see Santa Claus. Now, it was down to crunch time. We're on the clock.
So, I'm driving down Layton Avenue toward Southridge Mall, where I'm told Santa awaits. I'm regretting it the entire time, as I know the line to see ol' Saint Nick is going to be long with lots of other children whose parents are procrastinators. The thought of standing in that line for an hour or two is dampening my holiday mojo. But you've got to do what you've got do...
We're stopped at the traffic light, about five blocks from the mall, when Justin suddenly yells from the back seat, "Dad, there's Santa!" His brother sits up straight in his car seat and screams, "Santa!" The boys are giggling with glee.
Confused, I look out the window, and what do I see? Not eight tiny reindeer, mind you.
Nope, I see Santa. He's standing in a vacant parking lot full of Christmas trees for sale.
Santa is commiserating with the guys at the Christmas tree stand.
The light is still red. My mind wanders. "Hey, wait a minute," my inner voice tells myself. "The boys think that guy is Santa. The guy is dressed in a Santa suit, replete with the beard. I'll bet if I just pull in there, the guy will cowboy up and become Santa indeed. The boys will tell him what they want for Christmas. No lines. No mall. We'll be o…Read more...