Wednesday, December 16, 2015

My "Miracle on 34th Street" Moment

I was appearing as Santa at a party for a company that I've performed at for the last 5 years.  I was sitting there as usual having the kids come tell me what they want for Christmas and posing for pictures, when out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a young lady in her 20's who came acting very excited to see me.  She stood there talking with her co-workers and excitedly pointing at me.  Finally, when there was a lull in the crowd she eagerly she came and sat on my knee.  I asked her what she wanted for Christmas and I could tell by her accent that she was not from America. So I asked her where she was from originally and she said she was from Austria.

Well, my second language just so happens to be German, so I started to speak to her in her native language much to her surprise!  She quickly responded back to me in kind that she didn't know I spoke German and I responded that of course Santa knows German.  With a big grin and a sparkly tear in her eye, she told me that what she wanted most for Christmas was to go back to Austria to visit.  I didn't exactly know how I could respond to that request, so instead I asked her what her favorite memory was of Christmas back home in Austria.  She got a faraway look in her eyes and told me how she used to love to sing Christmas songs as a child.

Without hardly thinking, I started to sing, "Kling, Gretchen, Kling" (one of the Christmas songs that I knew that German speaking children sang). She immediately joined me and we sang the song together. When we finished, she smiled, clapped her hands and gave me a big hug.  She said that besides going back to Austria, I had just given her the best Christmas gift she could have gotten.

As she walked away, I thought of the scene in the movie, "A Miracle on 34th Street" where Kris Kringle is able to speak to the little Dutch girl and then they sing a Christmas song together in Dutch.  I chuckled to myself.

Sometimes being Santa is serendipitous!

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