A Flurry of Santa Hats

A Flurry of Santa Hats

Why is it that people wear Santa hat around Christmas time?

Come Christmas time, many people start donning Santa hats. Beautiful red hats with white furry trimmings and a white pompom. Children wear these hats to a school holiday party, employees to the holiday parties at their place of work, families, and friends to their Christmas parties and get-togethers. Red and white clothing is all around us during this holiday season.

It makes us wonder why is it that all these people from all walks of life, people of different religions, young and old, men and women, are wearing festive Santa hats? Why is it that every store is selling these hats, personalized and generic, and they sell like hotcakes? Why is it that people who do not even believe in Santa are wearing Santa hats?

Could it be that deep down inside everyone wants to be Santa? After all, Santa, a jolly old man with a white beard whose laughter sounds like “Ho-Ho-Ho”, embodies many endearing qualities. He is a happy soul who is magical, loves children and adults alike, keeps track of who is “naughty” and “nice” throughout the year, and rewards them appropriately.

When we wear the Santa hat, maybe we have a placebo effect and feel powerful and magical. We feel that we can make a difference in other people’s life. We buy gifts for people to make them happy, we give to charity, to the mailman, the garbage man, the recycling man, the school-bus driver, the children’s class teacher, the school lady who stands in the cold ushering children in during early morning classes, and to many others who we do not know personally. We do this believing that our token gifts will bring some happiness in other people’s life. This “giving” may not be only of material gifts, it could be a gift of attention, of love, and of consideration towards others.

With its bright red and white hue, Santa hat is beautiful to look at. It brings a glow to everyone who wears it, is warm and cozy. Now, who wouldn’t want to wear this hat and sip hot cocoa while watching the classic Christmas movie “Its a Wonderful Life”. This old and timeless movie makes us realize how much influence and power we have to touch other people’s lives.

At this time of the year, when we have a break from our super active life, a forced break for some of us, it is a perfect time to sit back and review our year. It is a time to appreciate those who have brought happiness in our life. This appreciation does not need to be always a gift, it could be a call to wish them “Happy Holidays”, an effort to spend some quality time with them or an initiative to send them holiday cards to let them know that we are alive and well, and that we care about them.

Of course, the caveat is that Santa hat be worn around Christmas time only. At any other time, when Santa is sleeping or busy working his elves to make presents for next Christmas, it is not an appropriate headdress to sport.

They say holidays and especially Christmas holidays when everyone is cooped around the dinner table with their loved ones, are especially hard for people who have no one they are close to. It is then that they feel bouts of loneliness and need to feel supported. It is our duty to seek these people and bring cheer to them. Giving them a gift of cookies or coffee, getting together with them or inviting them over, may make more of a difference to them than we realize. To the mailman, the garbage man, the recycling man and children’s school-bus driver, even a small gift means a lot, for it tells them that they count. In general, people who are working at lower hourly pay appreciate the gift of money, while those who have no dearth of money, appreciate the gift of love.

I recently found out about the Hilde Back Education Fund and how a small selfless act of a Swedish woman changed lives. Ms. Hilde Back sponsored the primary and part of secondary education of a child in Kenya by sending only $12 a month and was able to help him graduate high school. This same boy went on to study law at Harvard University and subsequently opened a foundation in honor of this lady. This foundation provides scholarships to talented children from Kenya and is in a business of changing lives. So we may not realize it, but by our small selfless acts of “giving” to others, we could be making a huge difference in someone’s life.

So why don’t you wear a Santa hat, sit down on the rocking chair or at your desk and create your own list of “naughty” and “nice” people in your life? Reach out and give to these nice people the cheer of holiday and the feeling of having someone by their side. And to those who have been “naughty”, maybe skip the gift this year? For sometimes, an absence of Santa’s gift is what is required to motivate people to change their actions from “naughty” to “nice”!

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