Friday, December 23, 2016

Here comes Santa Claus

I love seeing Santa outside of a mall. That’s why I think it’s neat when Santa gets a ride around the neighborhood from the local fire department.

As a kid, I saw Santa ride around on a firetruck to visit people in the community. Growing up, we celebrated Christmas with family friends and exchanged gifts on Christmas Eve. Santa would stop by our friends’ house every Dec. 24 on a firetruck to visit, and the firefighters gave us candy canes.

Especially now that I’m a volunteer firefighter, I enjoy seeing various fire companies driving Santa around on their firetruck. I have reported on a few holiday events where firefighters escorted Santa and the kids got excited to see him. Adults smiled too.

Seeing Santa waving to you from a firetruck is something magical that makes you forget about the stress you feel around the holiday season. We think about who we still need to buy gifts for, how we are running out of time to finish shopping, and how to manage visiting several homes because we want to see everyone. For adults, those brief moments of seeing Santa can make you feel like a stress-free little kid again.

Dr. Seuss said it best, “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”

I enjoy looking at photographs to reflect on fond memories. My fire company hosts an event for families to take photos with Santa at the firehouse. The station is decorated like the North Pole with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, Santa’s reindeers, his elves working in the shop, nutcrackers, Disney characters and more. Visitors of all ages seem to enjoy walking through winter wonderland before greeting Santa for a family photo. It’s another way that we give back to the community and we have fun together around Christmas.

Ginger Rae Dunbar assists three brothers to have their photograph taken with Santa at the firehouse in December. 

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