I’ve done a lot of gigs in my life, but tonight beats them all.
I remember being on the other side, seeing the red suit and feeling the excitement and then the nerves as you walk towards the magical figure wearing it. Seeing those little faces coming towards me, eyes like saucers or shuffling nervously was a delight. Kids should have this stuff, not by paying a fiver in a shopping mall, but like this in a hall in the heart of their community where the joy is made from nothing but inventiveness by all the participants and Santa’s gifts were given by the kindness of friends and neighbours.
The kids were great, some of the older ones weren’t sure, but a little joke with Santa and they took their selection box away with them to maybe just one more Christmas of believing in magic.
I was many miles from home tonight, helping out at a project Joycee works at. The area is in need in many ways but the hall was full of lovely people trying their best. It’s easy to dismiss districts when all you know about them is the view from a dual carriageway or an occasional newspaper headline.
Given a chance, people can be good, give them a little help and they can be amazing.
And aye, there were indeed several high-fives for Santa. Santa’s Little Helper there also turned in a star performance and didn’t give the game away once.