Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

My Favorite Christmas Story: A Gender-Confused Santa?

WARNING: The word Christmas is used liberally in this blog.

I'm sitting in my sister's living room in Los Lunas, New Mexico as I write this. It's Christmas Eve. In my family we still call the holiday, Christmas. It's not the Winter Holiday or Winter Solstice or some other politically correct nonsense mandated by liberals in an effort to remove the Christmas story from the season while attempting to make Christmas appear more inclusive.

But I digress…

It was about 10 degrees when I awoke this morning. There is still two inches or so of snow in the yard thanks to a rare snow storm that shut down much of the state on Thursday. Ideal Christmas weather, particularly if you are safely hunkered down all warm and cozy where you need to be.

I typically spend Christmas -- there's that dreaded word again! -- with my sister and her family. I've probably only missed two Christmases with them in the past 28 years. It's part of my Christmas tradition.

It was in the late 80s and I lived in South Florida. I made my usual flight that took me from West Palm Beach to Dallas and then on to Albuquerque. Well before 9/11, people greeting arriving passengers could still do so in the gate area.  

I stepped off the plane and walked down the jetway. As I entered the gate area, I noticed a Santa Claus greeting people as they came out of the jetway. He was busy with a couple of little kids and I attempted circled around them. Suddenly Santa broke away from the kids and tried to cut me off. I continued moving to my right with Santa pacing me.

With arms wide open, he was attempting to hug me. I finally reached the rows of chairs, changed directions and tried to get around Santa's other side. I just remember thinking, there is a gay Santa at the Albuquerque airport and he's zeroed in on me! Suddenly he didn't care about passing out candy to the arriving children, instead had become obsessed with me.


Then like a life preserver tossed to a drowning man, I heard my sister's voice. I turned and spotted her among the crowd. She was surrounded by other family members. One was a niece who was operating a video camera. My sister was dressed as Mrs. Claus. She was shouting, "It's Dean; it's Dean!" Dean being my brother-in-law.

Yes, my sister and brother-in-law had dressed up as Santa and Mrs. Claus. They came to the airport a couple of hours before my arrival and passed out candy to kids before coming to my arrival gate to greet me.

It will remain one of my favorite Christmas memories.

Merry Christmas!

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