Dessert with Santa
© RiverHouse Group of Caughdenoy, new YorK, LLC

 

“There he is!”

And then giggling as we drove by the front of the Cracker Barrel in Cadiz, Kentucky. Lisa was as happy as a child and had that incredible smile on her face that makes my heart melt.

(Pure joy)

She had spotted Santa sitting on one of the rocking chairs on the porch. He was fiddling with his cell phone and looking over his glasses. I kept going to find a parking spot for her Nitro. I pulled in and grabbed my camera and hat from the back as we headed toward the Cracker Barrel. Santa (yes, that Santa) got up from the rocker and started heading toward us. He had on a Coca-Cola hat

(Santa is pretty loyal to his sponsors)

 and a t-shirt from work.  The suspenders were there and red as they did their job compensating for the trademark belly. Santa is a big man but he wasn’t always. He was a long, lanky teenager when we were in High School. We both were. But no more.

His voice is deep and always has a smile in it.  Hugs and greetings were exchanged. And then we headed into the Cracker Barrel.  We walked through the gift shop to get to the hostess station. A few people turned and glanced but most didn’t. We walked up to the hostess station and got in line. As we stood there, magic.

A little face peeked around the corner. Her eyes got big and she whispered something to her mother. Her mother looked up, saw Santa standing next to Lisa and I. Smiled and nodded to her daughter. The little girl darted behind the wall as Santa noticed her. She peeked out again and again. The hostess walked us to our table and every eye in the place was on us. Young, old, Black, White, Brown.

(Everyone smiled a bit)

Santa, Lisa and I ordered dessert and coffee. We caught up for a bit and then Santa said “Gotta go to work” and stood up. He went back to that little girl and let her know that Santa was thinking about her, and her only, at that moment. He talked to her, noted her wishes for Christmas and got her pledge to continue to be good.

Magic

He came back and talked about how seriously he takes his role as Santa. What it means to kids and adults everywhere. It never leaves his mind and we are all better for it. As long as Santa is out there, there is hope.

Meanwhile, our waitress came over 4 different times to apologize that the desserts were taking so long. Four times! Her apologies were to Santa. It was as if she was trying desperately to avoid placement on the Naughty List. Santa chuckled every time and told her not to worry.

After dessert, Santa gave us homemade wine, brandy and whiskey. We took pictures, hugged and said our farewells. Santa said that he was going to be at the 40th High School Reunion in middle September. I’m not going to be able to make it.

I really hope that it isn’t another 40 years before we see Randy Waller…uh…Santa again.

– Ness