No doubt the jolly big soul with the red suit, white beard and “ho ho ho” will be making guest appearances in many communities this weekend – whether socially distanced or through virtual broadcasts. Certainly, Santa Claus brings much joy, smiles and great memories of Christmas’s past to family and friends. Safe travels Mr. Claus and good luck on your final stretch of checking those lists for who has been naughty or nice.

Continuing along my daily blog posts inspired by Neil Pasricha’s “The Book of (Holiday) Awesome”, I am actually going to post a personal memory today. It relates to Santa Claus Coming to Town.

I have heard of numerous Santa Claus parades and tree lightings taking place, with Toronto’s parade coming to us December 5th – virtually. I know that my hometown of Kenora had their annual tree lighting at Main and Second Street last week. A virtual tree lighting illumination Canada wide is scheduled for the 17th.

Thank you to the volunteers and organizers who are adapting their plans so that communities and their Santa Claus parades can continue as a remarkable tradition. I’m not quite sure how the jolly old man in the red suit can make it back and forth to all of these communities, and keep an eye on his workshop at the North Pole. However, that is all part of the magic of the Christmas season.

I’ve met Santa in Toronto on several occasions. One of the most memorable was when Santa was attending a Variety Village event. He asked me if we would be attending the parade. I advised that we would be attending and that we would be above the old Shopsey’s store at the turn from Yonge Street to Front Street. Santa asked me the names of my children. He advised that if Kathy and I and our children were at the end of the terrace closest to Yonge and Front that he would shout out a greeting to our family. Well…you can just imagine. As the parade was winding down, there was great anticipation for the arrival of the final float. Kath and I quickly gathered up Helena and Clark and took our position nearest Yonge and Front Street. As Santa’s float made the turn he was greeting all the mom’s and dad’s and then said “and a big hello to Helena and Clark…Merry Christmas!”. The look on the faces of Helena and Clark with just one of those truly magical moments of Christmas.  They were simply awestruck in the moment.

We have had many awesome moments through all those years of attending the Toronto Santa Claus parade. That year took the prize for an all-time great in the book of awesome. Thanks to the Toronto committee that has kept this fine tradition alive all these years – even through these challenging times.

Santa. Wherever you are this fine Friday eve. Wishing you safe travels and well wishes for a great holiday season. Ho Ho Ho !

@fergdevins