Making Grown Men Cry and Enjoying It

What an odd thing to say, “Making grown men cry and enjoying it.” Not to say that the moms don’t cry but it isn’t any fun seeing moms crying. Perhaps Santa needs to explain, so here goes. The vast majority of the work I do traveling the world delivering toys to boys and girls is tiring but very enjoyable and very rewarding. I have been known to be a very jolly fellow and not known for crying or occasionally shedding a tear but…
First of all Santa has a little bit of human mixed in with his elf and mythological blood. I am jolly in nature but even I can be moved occasionally to tearing up and yes even crying. The Sheriff’s Santa Project is involved with many groups of people and we make many stops and deliveries. We drop off toys, gifts and Christmas Stockings to approximately 300 people each year. We get to deliver to WEAVE which is probably the most enjoyable of all the visits. The kids are all healthy and very energetic and Santa and his elves cannot stop smiling during and after the visit to the shelter.

Delivering to the hospital can be a little more challenging for Santa to hide his emotions and he has noticed that many of the fathers of child patients in the hospital tend to tear up at the site of their child interacting with Santa. They do not tear up or cry out of sadness, they tear up out of seeing their child, who only moments earlier appeared sad and lethargic become happy, energetic and excited at the mere site of Santa and his elves entering the room. I noticed that the more serious the condition of the child the more the tears flow from the parents, fathers in particular. Occasionally Santa needs to take a break while roaming from room to room to freshen up or to take a drink of water (drinking water helps because it not only stops the tears but it also refills the tear ducts for further leakage).

I will tell you the most powerful and impactful of all visits is the visit to the home. By the end of the visit most of the adults in the house are fighting back tears and yes it is usually the father that is the most emotional. At first contact with Santa the family gathers their emotions as they sing songs and Santa interacts with the children. Then when the visit is all said and done, the family hugs Santa and his entourage. This is when it becomes emotional for Santa as the parents hug a little tighter and hold on a little longer whispering, “ Thank you, we really needed this!”, in Santa’s ear. Santa smiles, gives a loud belly laugh and a “hohoho” as he is walking towards his sleigh. He does not dare look back as the family may get a glimpse of Santa tearing up or getting emotional. Into the sled Santa goes and Mrs. Claus quickly produces a towel or a box full of Klenex because she knows what is about to happen to Santa. She says quietly as they drive away, “It’s fun watching grown men cry”.

The Practical Joker and Hanging with Santa

JJ a preteen was bedridden and in and out of the hospital for months. Santa, along with a couple of Elves and Members of the Rancho Cordova Police Department were able to catch JJ and his entire family at home a few days before Christmas. JJ and his family had been so busy dealing with his issues and treatments that took him back and forth to the hospital they had not had time or the energy to decorate their house. 

A week before Christmas Santa was able to make a special delivery to JJ’s family.  What the family didn’t know was Santa’s entourage was prepared to “Christmas up the House”. We brought a Christmas Tree along with ornaments and lights for the tree and with help from members of the family decorated the tree (which was near the end of JJ’s bed so he could see it at all times) and the rest of the house with the help of the elves and the officers from Rancho Cordova Police Department. JJ’s brothers (all older than JJ) were overjoyed about the visit and happily posed for several pictures with Santa and the officers from Rancho Cordova Police Department just “chillin” on the couch watching television. 

Then Santa started handing out presents to the family and finally to the guest of honor JJ himself. His brothers opened the gifts for JJ because he could not open them on his own. JJ because he cannot use his voice or arms right now has learned to communicate and talk by utilizing an eye tracking speech generating device. One of the items Santa gave to JJ was a telephone that was compatible with his eye tracking device allowing him to make phone calls. This did not seem to impress JJ very much. 

One of the last things JJ’s brothers helped him open were gag gifts (fake puke etc,) and one gag gift in particular generated a smile and a look in JJ’s eyes that anyone could see was pure happiness. His brothers all started laughing out loud and joking when one of the brothers produced a whoopie cushion. For those of you that don’t know what a whoopie cushion is, it is a rubber pouch that you blow up and put on someone’s seat just before they sit down and it produces the sound of someone .. well how do I say it, “a farting noise”. As it turns out even after becoming bedridden JJ is still a practical joker and with the help of his colluding brothers continue to torment each other with practical jokes. 

We left Santa gifts along with stuffed Christmas stockings for each of the family members including mom and dad along with other wrapped gifts for under the tree to be opened on Christmas morning. Mrs. Claus has kept in touch with mom since the visit and all she asks for is for us to keep JJ and the entire family in our prayers. This we have gladly done since it is something we do quite often for all the families we come in contact with.