They almost killed him.
Santa isn’t supposed to get sick. He’s jolly. He gives gifts and Ho Ho Ho’s. But there he was, and he felt the grim reaper approaching. “How could this be,” he thought.
Well, let me tell you.
The command was having its annual Christmas party, and the fellow who usually played Santa for the kids was sick.
I got drafted.
On party night, I donned the outfit. It was too short, the pillow looked goofy and the beard kept sliding down my face. But I thought I looked pretty good.
I strutted into the room shouting, “Merry Christmas! Ho ho ho!”
I scared the children. Mothers involuntarily pulled them closer.
But when I flashed some presents, it all changed. The kids lined up, tittering with anticipation. They were so cute, all dressed up in Christmasy outfits. I lifted the first one onto my knee and said, “What’s YOUR name, and what do you want for Christmas?”
He looked at me in wide-eyed wonder. Tentatively he opened his mouth and…, “Achoo!” I got a face full of cold virus at point blank range.
The next child had something sticky on her hands. Others had runny noses. I realized I was facing twenty little germ factories, all waiting for their turn. But what could I do? I was Santa.
When I went to sleep later that night, I felt fine. When I woke up, I felt like dying. All those germs had mutated into some sort of super bug whose power was greater than the sum of its parts. Scientists could have conducted research projects on the microscopic processes going on inside my body. Superfund officials began feasibility studies.
I called in sick – the only time in 26 years that I ever had to do that.
As I lay there imagining the the germs-on-steroids feasting on my white blood cells, I had to admit that – even though it nearly killed me – it was worth it. The looks on the faces of those children were priceless, and I had done my part to spread the Christmas spirit.
In return, of course, they did their part to spread the Christmas bug. But like they always say, at this time of year it is better to give than receive.
I couldn’t agree more.