Nicknames – don’t you just love them. I’ve been called many derivations from my given name of Patricia: Pat, Patty, Tish, Trish, and Patrice.
Then there are nicknames of our favorite characters, in particular and keeping with the season, Santa Claus’s nicknames. You have Kris Kringle, St. Nick, Father Christmas, or just plain Santa.
Best of all though are those nicknames that are reflective of our personality or appearance.
I was recently at the Mall sitting at a Starbucks enjoying a latte while watching the children march up to Santa to give their lists. One in particular, an older child around 12, was very animated and pointed to his friend next in line. Whatever he said gave Santa a hearty “Ho, Ho, Ho.” When the child was done, Santa’s voice boomed out, “Guppy, come up here and see me. Slick just told me you have a special request of me.”
Amused at the names and with my interest peaked, I moved in a little closer to eavesdrop.
“Hi Santa. I feel funny sitting on your knee. Ha, I’m almost as tall as you.”
“Oh, it doesn’t matter how tall you are, or how old you get. I always have room on my knees for everyone so have a seat.”
“I, well, what did Slick tell ya?”
“I’m afraid I can’t tell you what he wanted me to bring him but he did say that you two were very good friends. Go way back, I understand.”
“Yea, that’s right. He’s pretty cool. I guess you already know what he did last Halloween.”
“I did hear the tale. One of my elves tried to put him on the Naughty List but I talked him out of it. Why don’t you tell me your perspective of the story.”
“When Slick’s mom and dad went to a Halloween party, they left me and Slick home to hand out candy since we were too old to go trick or treating this year. Well, Slick, ha, when the kids came to the door he told them this was the house where the kids had to leave some of their candy – and they did. He can talk anybody into doing anything. Whoa! Is that beard really real?”
“Ho, ho, yes it is, but please don’t pull on it like that. It gets pretty sore by the end of the day. Tell me, Guppy, what do you want for Christmas?”
“I don’t want anything, Santa.”
“Nothing? You don’t want anything for Christmas?”
“Nope. Instead, can I give my Christmas wish to my friend, Sparky. That way you can double up on what you do for him. That work for you?”
“Sparky must be a really good friend. He’s lucky to have someone so thoughtful.”
“Don’t go telling him anything mushy like that, okay? I’ll see you next year. That’s Sparky right behind me. He’ll tell you what he wants.”
“Sparky? Come right on over here.”
“I’d rather not sit, if that’s okay with you. Hey, I want to thank you for the welding set last year. It was exactly what I wanted.”
“Ho, Ho, you’re welcome. You’ve been doing a lot with it?”
“Oh yea. My dad wasn’t too happy though when I caught part of the garage on fire but we got it out before the fire department got there.”
“That’s good, that’s real good. Guppy says you want to double up on your list this year?”
“Kinda. I want to give what you’d give me to Superwoman.”
“Oh…right over there, the girl waving. You know, Gina? We call her Superwoman. She’s real good with track and all. Man you oughta see her move.”
“Right, yes. What is all this Sparky? First Guppy and now you don’t want any presents?”
“Just paying it forward, Santa.”
“Santa, hi! I couldn’t wait to see you. We’ve been standing in line for what seems like hours. It was okay though cuz all the pretty lights. And what’s with the elves this year? Last year you had four, now you have two and…”
“Slow down there, Gina.”
“They call me Superwoman now.”
“Ho, Ho, Ho, okay, Superwoman. Take a deep breath and then tell me what YOU want for Christmas. It must be mighty special.”
“It’s not for me.”
“Wait. Are you giving up your present too? Gina, we have so many children waiting in line to give me a list.”
“Superwoman, don’t forget. Santa, see that girl over there? The one that looks so sad?”
“Is that the one sitting on the bench all alone?”
“Uh-huh. We, all of us, figured if we pooled our wishes together, you’d be able to do something big for her.”
“Well, tell me what it is and I’ll do my best.”
“Her name is May. She’s real sad cuz her Daddy’s been in Iraq for almost a year now. We want you to bring him home to her when you make your run on Christmas Eve.”
Santa looked at her, his nose turning more red than shiny. “You really are a Superwoman, Gina. Let’s go talk to her, shall we.”
I hope you enjoyed my short story today. Please remember all the men and women serving our country and the families who will not be with their loved ones this time of year. And say a special prayer for those who will be spending their first Christmas knowing they’ll never see their son or daughter, husband or wife, walk through their door again. God Bless our Troops and God Bless the Families they leave behind waiting for their return.
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