Last week, Santa came to storytime at the library, and Liberty has not stopped telling people about it yet. This is funny to me, since we haven't made a big deal out of him before this, but even funnier is the story of our time spent with him.

Picture, if you will, a tall, slender man with a badly-positioned, flat pillow shoved down the front of his Santa suit. The suit was obviously created for a more rotund figure than his, and he held the back of his pants up as he walked into the room.

"HO! HO! HO!" his deep bass voice boomed.

The kids went crazy! "SANTA'S HERE! SANTA'S HERE!"

Even Liberty jumped up and down. (Well, it doesn't take much for that to happen, I suppose.)

Santa sat down on a tiny plastic chair next to a bucket full of candy canes. "Who wants to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what they want for Christmas?" he boomed.

Everyone but Liberty hesitated. She RAN from the far side of the room, took a flying leap and landed her bony rear onto his equally bony thigh. Even beneath the flowing beard his wince was detectable, and I winced along with him, knowing full well how those bones feel at that velocity.

"HOOOOOO, ho, ho," he groaned out, and some quiet laughter rippled through the moms present.

Liberty beamed at him. "HI! WHAT'S YOUR NAME?"

"Uh, I'm Santa Claus," Mr. Claus regained his composure. "What's your name?"

"I'M SIX!"

He looked confused, "You're six?" He glanced at me for confirmation. I shook my head. "She's three. She gets her numbers mixed up."

"Oh, you're three?"

She nodded.

"And what's your name, little girl."

"I'M YIBBY GACE, AND SHE'S A SISTER. SHE'S MEECEE DANE," she pointed back at Mercy.

Santa looked at me again. "Liberty Grace," I interpreted quietly.

"Liberty," he boomed, "tell Santa what you want for Christmas."

"A CANDY CANE!" she beamed up at him.

"A candy cane?" he repeated. "Is that all you want?"


"What else do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?" he tried again.

She pointed emphatically to the bucket of candy canes sitting next to his chair. "A CANDY CANE, PLEASE!"

"Well, here, what if I give you one right now?" he said as he handed one to her.

"OH! SANK YOU VEE MUSS!" she exclaimed in wonder. (Thank you very much.)

"Now," Santa adjusted her on his lap, "what would you like Santa to bring you for Christmas, Liberty Grace?"

She paused and looked at his face, apparently weighing his offer. Finally, she decided he could bear the weight of her request, and she announced happily, "TWO CANDY CANES!"

Laughter rippled again. Try as he might, Santa could get no other requests from her lips. He handed her two candy canes and decided he'd fulfilled his duty. The rest of the children were not so easily satisfied. One little girl even requested a puppy. (This girl happened to be his daughter, and he groaned before trying to talk her out of it. "Don't you want something else?" But she remained adamant.)

When all the children had finished sitting on his lap, the librarian handed him Twas The Night Before Christmas and informed us in an excited voice that Santa was going to read to us. Obviously, Santa had not realized ahead of time that this was part of the deal, and his "HO! HO! HO!" as he accepted the book was not so merry. In fact, it conveyed apprehension.

I was amused. I sat on the floor, smiling to myself, but the situation got even better.

Santa struggled to read the words. He read along just fine until he got to a word that he didn't recognize, and then he made something up. I wish, OH HOW I WISH, I could remember all of the substitute words, but the one that stuck with me the most is this line,

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danc'd in their heads,
And Mama in her kitchen, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap

Frankly, I think it's more realistic, don't you? I know I'm always in the kitchen preparing for the holidays when everyone else is in bed.


Having completed his duties, Santa gave a cheerful "Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!" to the room and stood to his feet. He unfolded his long, lanky frame from the tiny plastic chair and waved a white-gloved hand high in the air over his head. His red, velvety pants slipped down around his ankles, the pillow slipped out from under his shirt and hit the floor, and a collective sigh from the Mommas passed into the room.

"Whoops!" the librarian laughed as she collected the pillow and helped Santa pull up his pants. "Looks like Santa needs lots of cookies this Christmas, kids! Make sure you tell your mom and dad to let you leave plenty of cookies for Santa. He really needs them!"

We all laughed as Santa tightly gripped the waistband on his slacks, tucked the pillow under his arm, and headed for the door. "That darn Mrs. Claus," he muttered. "Always onto me about what I eat." He exited amid much applause.

Later he joined us (as a dad, not Santa Claus) and we learned that he had left his glasses behind since they didn't fit the theme of the costume.

That's why I still talk about the Santa visit, but Liberty just tells how she got TWO candy canes from Santa Claus.
7 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Too too TOO FUNNY!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Have a Merry Christmas and give the girls hugs for me!

  2. Donette Says:

    That was hilarious!! I wish I could have been there to see it all!

  3. Beth Says:

    Oh my goodness, that was hilarious!! Sooo funny! You need to write it and send it to a newspaper next year! They would love it, too!
    Merry CHRISTmas!
    It has been great to get to know you this year!

  4. Debbie F. Says:

    This is the funniest story ever!!!! Thanks for giving me a good laugh this Eve of Chrismtas Eve!

    I wish I still had some of that child-like Christmas magic. Just goes to show...we see a skinny man in need of a belt. Kids see Santa and candy canes.

  5. Suanna Says:

    Thanks for the laugh. I wonder what would have ahppened if our library had Santa Claus come. Last year Kent and Katy cried everytime they saw him from a distance. This year they don't seem so scared and Katy (4) thinks Santa is going to came and bring presents, Kent (5) says he's not.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    What a funny Christmas story! Lauren told me the other day that the mall-santa isn't the real santa. She said he's not even santa's helper. He's just a guy in a suit. Because Santa and all his helpers are at the North Pole, silly!

  7. Que Says:

    Now THAT was funny! I work at a library too. I will have to make sure I go to the Santa thing next year. That was great!

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