They sat together on a bench in the mall. One, a newlywed in his twenties, at his feet stuffed shopping bags. The other a heavyset man with a flowing white beard in a dark suit.
From the bench they watched as children ran wide-eyed from window to window, pointing to some prized toy. Calling, “Mom, Dad did you see anything so cool!” Running ahead as their parents raced after saying, “Hey! Slow down. Yes, it's cool alright.”
After they passed the young man let out a long sigh.
“What's wrong?” asked the older man.
“It's sad that we have to grow up, that's all.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, take those children, soon they'll find out there is no Santa! Once that happens it's not long until school turns to work, work turns to responsibility.
Then Christmas turns from celebration to cost. From magic to money.”
“Hold on young man, Santa is more than you find in a store or buy online! Growing up doesn't change who santa is.”
“He's about caring and sharing. He's about giving and getting. He's the shopkeeper who donates to the needy. He's the grocer who helps feed the hungry.
He's rich folks who give thousands. He's those who stop to drop their small change in a beat up red kettle as they go in or come out of some department store.
He's the pride in a child's face the first time he gives his mom a Christmas present that he bought with money he earned himself.
Santa, the true Santa, is the best part of all mankind. He's a feeling. The kind of feeling you can't put a price on.
Santa is not just one man. He's not old or young, he's not one race or religion. No young man, he's all of us, every one of us!
Don't look to the North Pole if you hope to find Santa. You only have to look into the eyes of people you meet and he'll be there.”
“Excuse me,” the young man said as he ran to help his wife with the packages she carried.
“Thanks hon. So what have you been doing?”
“I've been talking to this gentleman about Santa. Come and meet him.”
But, when they got to the bench he was gone. On the bench there was a gift with his name on it.
“When did you buy this?” she said.
“I didn't” he said confused.
“Well open it,” she said.
He did and found a silver bell ornament. In it's highly polished surface he saw a face reflected. But it wasn't his face. It was the face of the old man he'd been talking to.
Cut deep into the edge of the bell were these words.
There's a little Santa in all of us!