Santa came this year

In the holiday season for the past several years, I’ve experienced a moment: The moment when I know that Santa came.

I know that may seem a silly thing for someone of Jewish heritage and Wiccan practice to say. And to make it clear: I’m not talking about the tendency for Santa to show up at Yule parties or Wiccan rituals that I attend (though somehow he and I are never in the same room at the same time). I feel it nonetheless: a moment when I feel that people have been generous and kind towards me.

It has nothing to do with gifts. People keep giving me gifts, despite my protests and my general tendency not to give gifts at this time of year. I appreciate what I receive, but I keep telling people: Don’t give me “stuff.” If you’ve been to my place, you know I’ve got enough “stuff.” I value people and company and laughter and companionship more than I value “stuff.”

When Santa comes, it’s a feeling of warmth and togetherness and satisfaction.

Normally, that moment comes when I’m spending time with the family of a friend of mine. For over a decade, this friend has invited me to join her family on both Christmas Eve and for Christmas dinner. I listen to their conversations, which of course are pretty much the same every year, and the mood hits me: Santa is here.

This year was different. If you’re reading this blog post, you probably know that I’ve been sidelined by a medical problem. It kept me in the hospital for a week; it’s likely to keep me home-bound for several more weeks. I can’t travel. Even going up one flight of stairs to check my mail is a challenge.

This year, I didn’t have to go anywhere to find Santa. Santa came to me. Friends visited me in the hospital, even arranging a small Yule feast. Friends continue to visit me at home, to play games, help with household chores that are now difficult for me, or just to hang out.

All I can say is that it felt like Santa. I’m grateful to each and every one of you for the support you’ve given me.

I also have to acknowledge that the holiday season will pass. My recovery will stretch on. I’m not going to get this kind of special treatment indefinitely. Still, the memory of this time and this season and the feeling of Santa will linger and, I hope, see me through the weeks to come.

Again, thank you all.

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