It says something about the people that work for Pines of Sarasota that the CFO is willing to dress as Santa not once, but twice for the sake of our staff and residents. If you remember, Bruce Blake played a very convincing Santa Claus at our Breakfast with Santa event. Bruce put the suit back on, today to sit on the lanai and reminisce with our residents about when they were children visiting Santa, when they were parents making Christmas magic of their own, and when their grandchildren came for holiday dinners.
As Holly wheeled in those that wanted a picture with Santa to share with their friends and families, the excitement was palpable. Those that may struggle to remember everyday bits had no trouble remembering the big guy in red. Just between us, we all became believers as Bruce greeted them in front of the decorated Christmas tree, & held their hands while he asked them what they wanted for Christmas.
Many of our residents laughed at the question and responded accordingly. They asked for sports cars or an all-expenses-paid vacation. But some pondered the question with the conviction that only comes with a life well-lived. Some asked for more visits from their families who live far away. Others, for peace in our chaotic world. One, for one more moment with a loved one who has passed.
We all stood back and watched as jolly Santa quieted his demeanor and listened attentively to the stories of past Christmases well spent. For those mourning a time gone by, he held their hands and offered the kind of empathy every family hopes a facility like ours will offer their loved ones. The magic of Christmas is not flying reindeer, or gifts appearing under the tree. It’s when people love each other enough to go beyond the expected. It’s laughing along as someone shares their joys, but also holding a hand and extending a comforting spirit.