"I knew I'd see you - I just knew it!"
These were the words from a 5-year-old boy as he jumped into my arms yesterday morning while playing Santa for my local church.
"Mom and Dad told me that we might see you, but I knew it, I knew I'd see you today!"
He held my neck for what felt like a sold minute and had his head on my shoulder when he ask, "Do you know about Legos?"
This was my second year dressing up for church as Saint Nick. Last year was a little last minute, and the suit they had for me fit awkwardly over the clothes I was wearing. But this year, I had a full month's heads up and had my own black boots to compliment the upgraded suit.
But it wasn't just the 5-year-old boy who smiled big when they saw me waiting in the hallway to welcome people to church. Kids of all ages smiled big and gave me a hug, a fist bump, or asked to take a selfie with me.
Everyone was harkening back to a moment in their life where the big man in the red suit with a white beard meant something to them, to a memory of a time that the image I was portraying was the image that attached to a memory.
A creative agency in London did an experiment where they showed kids different objects from the past and asked them what they thought they did or how they thought it might be used.
The kids' overwhelming favorite was an electric typewriter.
"It is a laptop with a built-in printer!"
The researchers were dumbfounded. The kids saw something old as something new and exciting.
What do you have in front of you that might be reimagined? What relict of the past might be reconsidered for the future?
What is worthy of child-like wonder if we could only get past our practicality and adultness? What joy are we missing because we "know better?"
Those are some of the questions I'm carrying into the end of this year. And I hope you will join me.