One of the little perks of doing what I do happens at Christmastime, when I get to go on Fox 5’s local morning show with the Rancho Coastal Humane Society and present “A Dog’s Holiday Wishlist.” I don’t have the video downloaded yet, but I’m working on it because it’s really silly but also just fun. I’m with the anchor while each adoptable pet goes up to Santa. They (and by they, I mean one of the producers or camera guys behind the scenes talking in a goofy voice) tell Santa what they want for Christmas, and then I describe the product. It’s one way I like to contribute to the local community and some of my favorite pet businesses, by sharing items I know are both useful and safe.
So here’s the scene- I arrive at the station about half an hour before it’s time to go on, and they show me to the green room. The humane society has yet to arrive. Now last year, they actually sent their director – tall, thin, and young- along to play Santa, and I was expecting the same this time.
A couple of minutes later, as I’m getting a drink, in walk two adorable young girls wearing Make-a-Wish t-shirts. A moment later, I hear a “HO HO HO!” and in strides the most glorious Santa I have seen in my life, and considering the age of my kids, I’ve seen quite a few. He is attended by two delightful elves and a small coterie of PR agents. Santa sits with the girls and starts to talk to them, and he is mesmerizing. He’s so mesmerizing that station employees are walking in to take pictures with him, grown men and women.
He sees me eyeing them jealously from across the room and asks me if I would like to take a picture with Santa too, and of course, I say yes, because now I’m caught up in the moment too.
As it turns out, I have just met the official Santa from the Macy’s National Santa Tour, you know, THE SANTA from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade? I’ll admit it. I was starstruck. There is some small part of me that believes, though I can’t substantiate this, that he might have been the actual guy from the North Pole. I had a bit of a moment.
It made it easy to not be nervous, because I was too busy fighting my inner child whispering “No, that REALLY IS SANTA” and my amazement at how wonderful and composed this beautiful young girl from Make-a-Wish was to really be worried about my bit.
“The dogs are here,” chirped the producer. “Santa, are you up for helping with a dog segment?”
“Sure!” he said, grabbing his stomach- no, really, he did- and ho-ho-hoing some more. And then I got even MORE excited because now I’m going to be doing my bit with the BEST SANTA EVER.
It was around this time that I noticed a woman, about my age, sitting quietly in the corner. She asked me a question about my curling iron and we chatted for a minute, then I asked her if she, too, was here for the Make a Wish segment.
She pursed her lips, looked furtively around, and scooted closer.
“No,” she said in hushed tones. “I’m a sex therapist.” She looked up to make sure the kids weren’t within earshot. “I didn’t know they were going to be putting my holiday sex tips on after a Make-a-Wish segment. I feel kind of weird about this.”
And as if on cue, who materialized from the other side of the room but the jolly old elf himself, unaware of the conversation we had just been having in quiet voices.
“HO HO HO!” he boomed, “Would you like a button?” And then he hands us both little pins that say something like, “I’m on the good list!” so the sex therapist takes one, murmuring “thank you Santa” and I just about died.
Then I went on, and the segment went great- all the dogs were perfect and I didn’t mispronounce anything. I had thought they would just finish up Santa’s work and do the Make-a-Wish segment next, but wouldn’t you know it, they decided to break it up a little, so this poor woman had to go on the air with her own special happy holiday tips while Santa and his young charges sat behind the cameras just out of sight.
I’m sure Santa’s pretty open minded. I doubt he minded that much.
I saw his tricked out tour bus on the way out too. Beats that old sleigh, I’ll wager.
I live for this kind of stuff.
And just because, “You sit on a throne of lies” has been my favorite quote all this month and I felt the need to share.