By Deb Bryan
I smiled all the way through reading the Tribune story, Splitting hairs over the beard (R. Grossman, Dec 1). Even this sentence seemed fun, “(Santa) Steve Francois has answered the question with a hirsute “No”” of course, after I dashed to the dictionary to look up hirsute. (Hirsute means “hairy”.) Has hair and employment been this big a deal in your life time? Holy 1970’s Batman.
Being a Santa during the Christmas seasons ranks right up there with clowns and birthday parties in my mind. Visions of a rather plump fellow with rosy checks and an infectious laugh should make anyone smile. The job is just meant to bring joy to kids and their parents alike. Not surprisingly though, for there are disputes over just about everything today, there is a rift between The International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas and the Mystical Order of Traditional Santas (naturally grown beards vs. elastic snap-on.) (Really, this is too good a story not to be made into a made-for-TV comedy.) Not sure if these fellows are graduates from the International University of Santa Claus but something should be done. It ought not be this way.
Phillip Wenz, a Santa from the Mystical Order, wears out 10 beards a year at $1500 a pop, so it sure sounds like he is committed to joy and kids. Steve Francois, a real beard Santa, likes to give little kids a smile and a wink all year long as he does his grocery shopping. It doesn’t appear that Steve turns off his Santa personality even after the Christmas season. But Santas in disagreement? It just ought not be.
I know, I am too old to admit this but I kind of like Santa Claus. He’s been maligned over the years but I think he is quaint and a kindly spirit. He is cheerful and looks like he is having fun. He likes kids and just wants them to smile, even us big kids. Santa isn’t known for pumping iron but he is able to drive a sleigh full of tons of toys with the help of eight reindeer all night. (There has to be muscle under that suit somewhere.) Not all boys and girls are nice but Santa always seems to look for the good in each and every one of them. Ask me in July and I will tell you the same thing, Santa is the epitome of the gold rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Here is my plea to every Santa everywhere; let there be peace on the earth as far as it is up to you.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Deb Bryan has 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. She has a passion for writing and Toastmasters International.
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