Amir: SANTA! SANTA! Did you get my letter?
Santa: I did, and I read it twice.
Amir: You did? Am I on the nice list this year?
Santa: You most certainly are!
Amir: Alright! So I might get the things I put in my letter to you?
Santa: Mrs. Claus, what do you think?
Mrs. Claus: I think Amir is going to be very happy when it is his turn!
I had the great fortune to hear this conversation recently as Santa Claus visited Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital and passed out gifts to all of the patients. A group of patients, staff, and volunteers were standing outside in front of the main entrance excitedly waiting for Santa and Mrs. Claus to arrive. When they did, young Amir was right there to greet and welcome them back to Ranken Jordan. Every year the Maryland Heights Police and Fire Departments bring Santa, Mrs. Claus, and their elves to visit the kids. This year was no different than any other as it was simply an amazing day.
Thanks to the compassion and generosity of the great men and women of those two departments, Christmas is a very special time for the kids at Ranken Jordan. The looks and sounds associated with the pure joy and excitement they have are indescribable (you can see dozens of great photographs from this day on the Maryland Heights Police Department's Facebook page). There is nothing like putting a smile on the face of a child and the police officers and firefighters make certain all the children (as well as families, staff, and volunteers) have huge smiles on their faces. Each year I am grateful that I am allowed to be there for this day and see how much fun the kids have as every child gets time to sit on Santa's lap and get their gifts.
One thing the kids may not yet realize is that for some of us, just being there for that day is as great of a gift for us as the presents are to them. And you know, the great thing is, the gift that I am talking about (from my own personal perspective) also occurs every Wednesday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. Their smiles and laughter are some of the most special gifts the kids give us every week on Golfday. As soon as I walk out of the front doors at 11365 Dorsett Road, I am already counting down the hours until the following week's Golfday. I also walk out hoping once again that I did half as much for the kids as they did for me.