LETTER: Stranger’s kindness brought joy to the holidays

Friday, December 8, 2017 - 11:19

I think everyone has read the classic Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. Those words ring as true today as when they were written in 1897. Last Friday at the tree lighting ceremony at Town Square Park, I found out there is a Mrs. Santa as well.

The last 18 months has been very hard on our family. My husband died very unexpectedly at home on June 4, 2016. We’ve been putting the pieces back together ever since. Every day is met with trepidation, every decision is second (and third and fourth) guessed. I thought a festive Christmas event would cheer us all up.

The 9-year-old twins were in place, ready to sing with their school choir when Santa arrived. Almost immediately upon seeing Santa, one of my boys started crying. It was crushing, watching the joyous faces of the other choir kids singing happily around him while my little guy was so very sad.

Big sister Ivy brought him out of the choir line over to where I was standing and trying to compose myself. Before I could ask what was wrong, he said, ‘That’s not the REAL Santa!’ and the crying started again. I know 9 is a little old to ‘believe,’ but I can only pray they cling to childhood happiness as long as possible. I tried to comfort him and tell him that Santa — the REAL Santa — was very busy, but he just couldn’t hear me.

Then, the most wonderful thing happened.

A mom, standing in the crowd enjoying the singing and good cheer, saw my pain; saw my son’s pain and my adult daughter’s pain and could see how hard we were trying to comfort my son and just failing because we were just so overwhelmed and sad. She bent down to Christopher’s level, calmly and kindly explained how busy Santa is right now. Told him how few days Santa had to get everything ready. Talked to him until he stopped crying and was calm. Her words got to him when mine couldn’t and I don’t have enough thanks to give her.

I can only hope that if she’s reading this, she understands how deep our appreciation is. Thank you so much. You’ve no idea how your kind gesture changed the tide of not only that moment, but that evening and the entire weekend.

May your holidays be as blessed as your soul.

— The Provenzano family

Lilly, Ivy, Sam and Christopher

Eagle River

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