In the course of my time as a member of the Music and Fine Arts Ministry at West End Assembly of God, I have donned the furry red suit of Santa on several occasions. I’ve also taken on the more traditional role of Father Christmas in a long red (and yes, furry) robe.
I didn’t want to be Santa again. For one thing, I didn’t want the suit to fit. I’m down 25 lbs. in 2013. I wish it were more. But I start a new year at my lowest weight in well over a decade.
“Nobody wants a skinny Santa”
~ Mrs. Claus in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Still, I didn’t want to be Santa just because I’m the biggest guy in the cast.
Vanity tells me I get the role because I’m the best person to play the part. Perhaps, but I also know the reality of looking the part.
Then there’s the beard. Oh, the beard. In the early days, I wore the fake Santa hair and beard, because after all, my hair and beard were sort of a light, reddish brown.
These days, I need a lot less beard makeup.
Auditions came this year and I whined about not wanting to be Santa and not wanting to grow the beard. But, I did it. As the Mrs. and I have said about this ministry for years, “it’s what we do.” The message of the show is more important than our own personal agendas.
So, the beard grew, and grew and seemed to get just a bit whiter each day. I marked the days until I could shave it. It did help, I think, when I participated in the First Thankgiving reenactment at Berkeley Plantation. But, I digress.
December 15th. Shave and a hair cut. Two bits.
Then, we got asked to be Mr. and Mrs. Claus just one more time. Sure, we can do that. It was sort of fun driving across the Willey Bridge in our costumes.
In the meantime, I had an audition. That’s okay, I thought, my official head shot shows me with much less of a beard and I’d still be able to shave. But, the beard worked and I was offered the part of the Judge in the Ft. Lee production of The Chalk Garden coming in February. So, I can shave in March. I hope.
Back to the Santa thing. I hesitate to say it, but…I kind of…enjoyed it.
It was like Tim Allen in The Santa Clause. I put on the suit and I became Santa. Dare I say it? It was almost comfortable.
There’s nothing quite like seeing the wonder in the eyes of a child meeting Santa. Unless, of course, it’s the child who knew you from the cast following you and saying (rather loudly) “you’re not the real Santa!”
Seriously, child, how do you know that for certain? Hmmmmm?
This one thing (or is it two) I know.
I can deal with not needing the white makeup for the beard.
But next time, if there is a next time, I’ll need the padding for the suit.