The hills of Minnesota rank high on the list of most Beautiful winter scenery. December, and especially Christmas Eve grabbin top spot as the heavy snows , north wind drivin, swirl about to blanket the pines in a thick fluffy powder.
1980 found me out of a job and a fat lil fella in need of cash for presents. Being resourceful, it just made good sense to put the lil fat fella in a Santa Suit. So I ran an ad, charging 10 bucks for a visit from Santa and rented my suit.
Christmas Eve appointments began around 7 PM as lots of folks wanted kids to spend time with Santa before going to bed. So for the first part of the evening we ran a smooth ship ticklin the kiddies and stuffin the bucks in my wallet. Runnin from place to place was an adventure but it became more difficult as the night wore on and street lights did not show the house numbers. The suit was warm, the house's warmer and soon sweat was running down my back into my undee's. Being a greedee lil bugger I didn't allow much time between visits so taking a break was out. So the vigil continued as santa stuffed more and more,,,,I mean santa blessed more little kiddee's with his presence. Soon my armpits joined in dumping more sweat,,, yes you guessed it,, into my undee's. I hadn't counted on SOOO many parents wanting Santa to have a lil drinkee while he was there and pretty soon the house numbers were taking on a kinda fuzzy appearance,,, and I'm thinkin geeez you know, for a fella who don't drink, I'm doin ok,,,, maybe. But sweat was everywhere now and its hard to wipe your face , forehead or whatever in this outfit, but we still had several appointments to go. But I'm wet now, everything inside that suit was dripping. Inside the house I'm cooking, then outside felt pretty good for a few steps then I was shiverin cold. The booze kept my face warm n fuzzy but now I had to practically go up to the houses to see the dang numbers. Sweat was washing off the glued eyebrows and running in my eyes , and the beard tickled as it stuck to my own whiskers. But I had one stop left and I wanted that 10 bucks, Rudolph sat on the roof of the house next door snickering, yes he did, and Christmas lights danced around the tree on the deck so I knew I had to refuse that next drink. I rapped on the window, then stood back and gave it my best Ho, Ho, Ho, then waited to be let in the door. The little gals eyes sparkled as Dad ushered us into another warm living room, why do they keep these rooms so hot I whispered to the little guy sitting on my shoulder,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,. Dad sat lil Suzy on Santa's lap and everyone took pictures while I cooked, but you cant hurry these things. So I tried chatting with the little girl trying not to drip on her new dress. Then the two older ladies needed a picture sitting on Santa's lap,, Groan,, The room is swirlin, the booze is ,,, well its doin what booze does and my gut is feelin like it wants to be rid of all the candy, cookies n treats . Finally mom comes out with a plate of WARM MILK n more cookies wanting Santa to partake. To which Santa politely refused knowing full well that one whiff of that warm milk and I would be making a deposit right on that expensive lookin rug.
I remember vowing on my way home to never do this again. I remember also at least a couple days of trying to get my stomach squared away convinced more than ever that drinking that stuff was not for me. I don't remember how much I made after I paid for the suit, but it wasn't enuff!!~!
Winter is still beautiful here, even more so as I sit close to a crackling fire watching the outside,from the inside. I saw Santa just the other day, I think it was at Walmart. He was smiling from ear to ear, and the kids were screamin and hollering and havin a good old time. But I looked deep into his eyes, and I read the sign, he had sweat in hiz undee's for sure. A.L. R.