The year I was Santa

This is me (Santa) and Selina Alvarez when we both worked for LAMP at an ACOF building in LA.

The year I was Santa was my favorite Christmas ever. Although I had been working with the Homeless in LA for three years at that point, I learned more in this one day than all the days before it.

I learned that the Homeless wish for

1. Love

2. Forgiveness

3. Acceptance for who they are and the struggle they are in.

My most poignant memory still makes me weepy. An older homeless lady, about 58 years or so (you rarely find elderly homeless – they die because the conditions are too harsh) saw me and started yelling “Santa? Santa? I’m, sorry that I stopped believing in you!, It’s me! do you remember me?!?!?” I said “Yes Emily, and I never stopped believing in you.”

Of course, I didn’t mind that the LAPD pretended not to see me bump my friend’s car when I tried to park – hey a beard is hard to see over!

Two homeless men saved a parking spot for my parents with  grocery cars on Crocker. I carried my daughter’s 4 foot tall stocking and had it filled with freebies from my neighbor Carla Quigley and a slew of candy canes so Santa could gift to everyone he met on the street. If you ever want to see grown men running toward you – dress up as a gifting Santa. It was tremendous!

It was a day that I felt unconditional love and being the big ol’ hugger that I am, I got to hug everyone.

I would be Santa again in a heartbeat so, if you have the costume and have the need – call me up- I will be there! (fortunately, I am over 100 pounds lighter so maybe I will finally need padding!)

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