Friday, December 6, 2013

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: Manifesting Santa Claus

Thank you Graphics Fairy!

Christmas is the perfect time to reflect on the year nearly past, and to consider all the good there is in this world, and in your life.  In particular, on this day — the Feast Day of St. Nicholas — it is also the time when I think about those people who have been kind to me over the years, especially those who have acted kindly with no thought of receiving anything in return. These are the people whom I believe best manifest the magic of Santa Claus.

Years ago my mom told me a story about the Christmas season in which my brother began to doubt the existence of Santa Claus. Mom did not recall at what age his skepticism set in, but she did recall 'threatening' my brother with some unspecified punishment if he said anything about his doubts to me, his little sister. My brother is a good egg, and he never said a word to me about his feeling that Santa was a creature of dubious origin. I believe it is in part due to my brother that I still believe in Santa Claus.

Don't worry, I haven't lost my rational mind (not entirely), but there is honestly a teensy weensy part of me who still wishes for the whole landing on the roof and coming down the chimney extravaganza. I would be happy if it happened only once, just to see Santa emerge, red suit and all. After that I would worry about ensuring the chimney flue was open, and that there was no fire in the fireplace. Eventually it would be just too stressful, and I'd have to give Santa a front door key and the alarm code.

Nah! Overall a bad idea.

Instead, I believe in manifestations of Santa Claus. There is a kindness and a selflessness in old St. Nick which finds its way into people, not only at Christmas, but throughout the year. Over the years I have come across many people who have manifested Santa Claus in my life.

I am grateful for each and every one of those who are:

Definitely manifesting Santa.

In March of the year in which I celebrated my 11the birthday, while on my way to the public library downtown, I was hit by a car. A homeless man, and a woman who was passing by with her daughter, lifted me off of the road and waited with me until the ambulance showed up. I was badly injured, bleeding heavily from my mouth, and in shock. According to the woman, when the man noticed I was shivering he took off his coat, put it over me, and turned my head to the side so that I wouldn’t choke on the blood. Apparently, when they loaded me into the ambulance, I still had the coat over me, but by then it was covered with blood.

Afterward, my parents put an ad in the newspaper because they wanted to meet the man who had so generously helped me, to thank him and to replace his coat, but they were unable to find any trace of him. Every year around Christmas time, I think about this man who had so very little himself, but who nevertheless acted out of such kindness and selflessness to help me. In my mind he was definitely manifesting Santa Claus.

Of course, every day acts of kindness are not so dramatic as in this instance. Acts of kindness which manifest the magic of Santa show up in many forms. Here is a list of the many people I have encountered along my life's path who are

Definitely Manifesting Santa:

Family members and friends the world over who make my day, when they tell me they like something I've written in this blog. Sometimes comments include something about what is going on in their own lives. This makes me feel as though we are still connected as family, although many miles separate us.

The people who follow this blog, and those who comment, make my day by making me feel as though my blog matters.

* Fellow family history/genealogy bloggers who put themselves out there and share their research and their stories, their successes and their frustrations. They are a giant well of inspiration that will never run dry.

Thomas MacEntee, founder of the GeneaBloggers community, who inspires us, helps us, and brings our posts together, so that more people can see them.

Definitely manifesting Santa:

* The 'Christmas people', as I like to call them, who collect toys, clothing, and food for local food banks and for city wide charities.

The archivists at all of the repositories I've used, both for my history work, and for my family history research. So many of them have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help me, and I am so very grateful for that help.

The elderly man I met years ago at Glasnevin Cemetery who stopped on his way out of the cemetery, turned around and came back in, to help me search the rows and find my maternal grandfather's unmarked grave.

The Santa Claus at the Eaton Centre who made my day when he smiled and waved as I passed by.

Strangers who smile and hold the door for me, just to be nice.

* The man ahead of me in the Starbucks drive thru line, who paid for my coffee and for the orders of the five cars behind me, simply because he wanted people to have a good day.

They are out there everywhere, just waiting to do something kind, without giving it a second thought.

Definitely Manifesting Santa:

I am very fortunate because my most special manifestation of Santa Claus, my husband Matthew, wakes up beside me every day, loves me, encourages me, challenges me and supports me in my work. Each and every day I thank my lucky stars to have him in my life.

Who manifests Santa Claus in your life?


“The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) allows you to share your family’s holiday history twenty-four different ways during December! Learn more at http://adventcalendar.geneabloggers.com.”

Graphic courtesy of The Graphics Fairy.

Copyright©irisheyesjg2013.

8 comments:

  1. Jennifer, thank you for sharing all your ideas and experiences on the many manifestations of Santa Claus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comments Janet. Happy Christmas to you and yours!

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

      Delete
  2. Wonderful post, Jennifer! I love your idea of recognizing people who, in one way or another, manifest Santa. Wishing you a merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comments Shelley. Wishing you a very merry Christmas too!

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

      Delete
  3. Lovely post Jenn. I believe in the magic too, but don't often think about how it's there in the small acts. Merry Christmas to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comments Charlotte. Merry Christmas to you too!

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

      Delete
  4. Jennifer, that's a wonderful post about the true spirit of the season. Merry Chrstmas!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks so much Colleen. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    Cheers,
    Jennifer

    ReplyDelete

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Cheers, Jennifer

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