For Easter we went to church and out to eat with Shawn’s family. My mother-in-law also hosted an egg hunt at her house, in which Jordan and Maddi energetically participated.
At brunch Maddi immediately spotted a man seated with his family that she was positive she recognized. He had a white long beard, a jolly belly, a red wool cap and a gray knit sweater. She tugged at her Uncle Mark’s shirt, pointed and said, "It’s Santa! It’s Santa."
Uncle Mark said, "Oh, I think that is just a guy with a white beard."
When she came to find me seated at the table her face was filled with animation, "Mom! Mom! Santa over there. Santa over there. Come see?"
She couldn’t wait. Maddi took my arm and led me to the man she was certain was Santa. We greeted him as he grinned directly at Madelynn, "Oh, you recognize me!"
Little Madelynn’s face couldn’t have become brighter. Her eyes twinkled as she looked at me with an expression that said see Mom…he’s real! Then she looked up and said, "Hi, Santa!" Her voice sweet and sugary.
Santa asked if we would like to see his picture and pulled his wallet out of his pocket. Inside was a professional photo of Santa wearing his entire suit and laughing with a "ho ho ho." He explained to Maddi, "I only wear my entire outfit at Christmas time. Today I am eating with my family for Easter so I didn’t put it all on. Did you like what I brought you for Christmas?"
Maddi was bouncing back and forth between both feet. She was delighted to be so close. She touched the picture and started thumbing through the wallet to find more. Santa laughed, "Oh, those are just my credit cards. There aren’t any more photos!" Then he told her, "My reindeer are back home at my house. They are resting outside from all their work in December."
"Why they outside?" Maddi asked.
"Because that is where they stay," he told her.
Grandma came over to take a picture and Maddi climbed up onto Santa’s lap. Being that she had discovered him in his Easter disguise, she decided to be extra brave and tugged at his beard. Yep, that was real, too! And she let out a confirming giggle.
After a hug or two she came back to our table and went stait over to her uncle. She crawled up on a chair, standing in her yellow Easter dress, and placed her two hands on her hips to be at eye level. With her Uncle’s full attention she said, "Uncle Mark, that not just a guy!"
It was fact. Santa celebrates Easter, too. He likes brunch the best. And if anyone has any doubts they can just ask Miss Maddi.