you better watch out

Walking into my apartment building late last evening in full Santa costume tired after a gig, I turned the corner and ran into a startled mother and her dumbfounded but precocious 5 year old whose only words were “Hey, aren’t you early?”

Quick thinking in my Santa voice, I said “I came to get your Christmas list sweetheart, but since you’re awake, maybe we should talk.”
After 15 minutes on the stairs outside my apartment with Amanda on my lap taking her order, she and her mom left.
I walked upstairs to the front door of their third floor apartment and sprinkled snow around my Santa boots on the welcome mat leaving her a more than convincing reminder for when they return home.
That night, I retired my boots for good but still miss moments like these from my years as a professional Santa.