Five years ago I had the chance to drive home for the holidays a day earlier than expected. I didn’t tell my mom that I would be making the 200 mile drive from Missoula to Spokane the night before she expected me.
Before setting off to Spokane I went to Wal-Mart in hopes that they still had the $30 Santa costume I had seen a week or two before. They did! I purchased the suit, threw it in the back of my car, and drove to Washington. My brother met me in a random parking lot, I got dressed, and he drove me to my parents’ neighborhood (I didn’t want my car to be spotted and blow the surprise). Glen dropped me off a block before the house and I walked up to my mom’s door and rang the doorbell. She answered the door and was very much surprised and happy to see Brent Claus.
I highly recommend that everyone invest in a Santa suit.
I may have paid $30 for the rag tag Wal-Mart costume but it feels like I have enjoyed $30,000 of entertainment and joy from it. Over the years I have worn it for my annual holiday message, social media posts, meetings, parties, Facetiming with Sidney, and just standing out in my parents’ lawn waving to cars. My Kris Kringle suit has survived a lot of miles (both physically and metaphorically) and you can bet that it will be back at work on my broad shoulders this holiday season as well.
Besides the many opportunities available to wear a Santa suit, I have two greater reasons on why it is good to have one around the house.
First, the joy that is brought to others is uplifting. Like I alluded to above, my outfit would make any seasoned mall Santa cringe but ordinary people don’t care. Even if my beard is straggly and my belt Velcro, folks still see Santa. Of course they do know that I couldn’t hold a candle to the Coca-Cola Mr. Claus but they still sense the spirit of St. Nick when I have the suit on. This causes both young and old to warmly smile when they see me making a fool out of myself in my parents’ driveway or trying to take a photo in front of a random neighbor’s Christmas display.
Second, the special feeling that I get when I dawn the suit more than justifies playing Santa. Dressing up as the “Big Fat Guy” is the one of the best ways to get in the Christmas spirit. It takes me back to my childhood and makes me feel all warm and tingly.
While I don’t encourage you to purchase a suit to participate in SantaCon, I do encourage you to buy one for the sole premise of making the holiday a little brighter. Ho Ho Ho. Don’t Blink.