Driving and Biking in the Big City

Santa commutes to Houston

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Santa says hello

Santa says hello

‘Tis the season when you are just as likely to see Santa commuting to Houston as you are to see Art Cars for the parade any time of year, washtub Madonnas to be delivered for yard art or an 18-wheeler upside down and ablaze.

This has been a busy season for one suburban Santa who has had more appearances this year than he did since his own kids were little and he sat them on his knee. Back in those days, he couldn’t fool his own kids and they never learned to believe in Santa. “That’s not Santa; that’s my daddy,” his toddlers would say so he typically made appearances when they weren’t around. However, we have one treasured picture of them on his knee in his Santa get-up.

Santa and his kids when they were kids

Santa and his kids when they were kids

“I love to see the reactions when people see me driving down the road,” Santa says. “In Houston, folks are so intense when they’re driving and have those wrinkled brows. If they see me, they do a double take and I see their faces relax immediately.”

Of course, most times when you’re in the city, no one pays much attention to any odd happenings or people. Santa is just about the least unexpected sight any time of the year in Houston.

Recently Santa said he saw some cool teen-age girls walking by the road and perhaps talking “mean girl trash” and certainly texting aggressively. They looked up and saw Santa driving by. The jolly ol’ elf said they stopped texting immediately, shouted “hellos” to him and began to skip and laugh, like they were kids again. Santa noted that if you can make elite teen-age girls feel like kids again, then you are a very successful Santa.

It’s a unique experience to be Santa because you are not yourself; you are someone magical, special and good. No room for bad Santas. People are friendly and come up to you like they know you. Because, of course, they do.

Santa gives a fan a hug

Santa gives a fan a hug

Santa visited several businesses this year and was accosted on one occasion in the parking lot by a woman who ran across the freeway to get to him.

“Santa, I’m 50 years old and I still believe in you,” she said, giddy like a schoolgirl.

“It’s not unusual for people 50 and 60 years old to call me Santa, want a hug and say they want to have their picture taken with me,” our favorite St. Nick said recently. “I think they are reliving their own childhoods and drawing back on a positive experience and an experience they want to relive in the moment.”

His favorite, of course, is visiting elementary schools where he is treated like a rock star. He also has been a special guest at Texas Children’s Hospital where he says the parents are often more appreciative than the children and glad to be taken away to a happy place for a moment.

“Being Santa is my favorite volunteer experience. There’s no ego involved because folks don’t know who you are and see you as someone special. You are almost a reflection of the person you are greeting because they all have intimate ideas of who Santa is to them. It’s a gift. I’m lucky.”





Written by commuterchroniclesdbh

December 15, 2014 at 12:41 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Great story!

    Janet Wallace

    December 15, 2014 at 2:45 pm

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