I feel a little silly writing you. Recently, I wrote a column about how when I was a boy I always wanted you to bring me a cowboy hat. A silver-belly colored Stetson. A few days later, one showed up on my porch from an anonymous person. I almost couldn’t believe it.
I know it was you, Santa.
If only I would have had the foresight to write a column about a summerhouse on the beach with a four-car garage instead.
No. I’m only kidding. Please realize that I am only making a joke, Santa. A three-car garage would be more than plenty.
Anyway, the words “thank you” don’t even begin to cover how I feel. The hat fits perfectly, and I have been wearing it for the last three days. I even wore the hat—this is true—to the grocery store. I almost never wear hats indoors, but I did yesterday.
The cashier referred to me as “Tex.” I asked her to kindly call me “Roy” instead.
She said, “Who’s Roy?”
“Wait, does he sing that song about the Gambler?”
You have to worry about our nation’s youth.
But the truth is I feel so silly, Santa. I didn’t NEED a hat. There are so many other important things happening in the world. Things that are WAY more pressing than my headwear. I feel so ridiculously selfish wearing this beautiful thing.
When I was a boy, I asked you for a hat like this every single year and I never got one. And I was okay with that. Because I knew you had bigger fish to fry. I understood this.
Once, my friend Billy explained it all to me when I was nine. He said that you only had a certain amount of space in your sleigh and you had to pack small gifts. A hat just wasn’t practical. And you’re practical guy.
Looking back, this would explain why you used to always give me eight-packs of underpants each Christmas. But I’m not complaining, I never held that against you. Even though, to be perfectly honest, I never knew why you were so concerned with my underpant needs.
You and my mother would have gotten along famously in this area. She was obsessed with the status quo of my underpants.
My mother kept me in perpetual supply of underpants because she was in constant fear than I would run out of clean underwear. I was the only kid I knew who had three entire dresser drawers wholly dedicated to tighty-whities. I owned more Hanes-brand clothing than Michael Jordan.
And as if that wasn’t enough, Santa, my mother used to sew special name tags into my underwear. I hated my underpants tags, but believe me, they were a lot better than having my mother hand write my name with a Sharpie marker on the waistbands, federal-prison-style.
But I don’t want to talk about my underpants. What I want to tell you is that I was completely okay with not getting the cowboy hat each Christmas. Really I was.
Because I know you have a busy life that’s riddled with headaches and hurdles. You have all sorts of catastrophes you’re dealing with. The world keeps modernizing on you, making everything more difficult for a Saint.
But somehow you keep it together. And you always pay attention to kids. All kids. Little kids. Big kids. Elderly kids. Even kids who have grown up, like me.
I am a guy who wonders who he is sometimes, who’s unsure of himself. At this age you’d think I would have a few things figured out by now. But I don’t. Sometimes I think I’m more confused now than when I was a nine-year-old.
But somehow I still matter to you. And I can’t believe it. I thought you’d forgotten about me a long time ago. I guess I was wrong. You obviously pay attention to people everywhere. Adults who feel like fools in their own lives. People who feel below average. And children who cry when they don’t think anyone is watching.
You must see it all. You must see every kid who doesn’t make the baseball team, every girl who is told she’s too overweight to be pretty, and each child who wishes he were a cowboy.
You must have seen the ten-year-old girl in Birmingham, who always wore ratty clothes to school. And it must have been you who sent her an entire wardrobe. Anonymously. You don’t think I heard about that? I did, Santa. I get around.
I also heard about the young construction worker who had no health insurance. Who had three kids. After his expensive emergency surgery, a man came into his recovery room and said, “Your surgery was covered by an anonymous donor.”
Yeah. I know that was you, Santa.
You don’t know how hard it was to believe in you when I was growing up. Believing in good people is tough to do. Because there are too many people who accidentally prove you wrong. But I’m changing, Santa. The older I get, the more I believe. And the more I believe, the more I want to be just like you.
One day, I hope I can be.
Thank you for the cowboy hat, Santa.
sparkerlpc - November 30, 2019 6:37 am
Bless your sweet heart, Sean! I am so glad for Santa, his helpers, and the Lord he started serving, way back in the day!
Enjoy your new hat! I normally share your blog daily on my newsfeed. Today is no exception. …all my friends need to see this! Thank you…..and merry early Christmas!
Sharon Lawson - November 30, 2019 6:42 am
Thank you Sean.
Sandi. - November 30, 2019 7:00 am
Sean, your readers and other fans are yearning for a picture of you in your new Stetson cowboy hat. Hint, HINT!
Harriet - November 30, 2019 7:10 am
That’s a great story. You MUST post a picture ASAP! 😁
George T Jacoby - November 30, 2019 8:58 am
Made my eyes sweat again, dang it. Throughout my life (>3 score and 10), I have always sweat a lot, but lately my eyes have been worked out a good bit here. Makes me feel better, too. Merry Christmas, Santa 🙂
Brenda - November 30, 2019 11:47 am
Dear Sean, Well you did it again! Tears flowing. I’ve been very depressed lately, with family and health issues. Sometimes I feel so alone. It’s all I can do to function, but your columns, so beautifully written, lift me back up and give me hope. Thank you Sean. Sincerely, Brenda
Naomi - November 30, 2019 12:10 pm
Sean, I was one of the girls from Birmingham who wore hand-me-downs or dresses from the Salvation Army to school. I wanted an outfit like Dale Evans and one year I got an entire cowgirl outfit, including a shirt, vest, hat, and two six-shooters. I’m pretty sure it came from my aunt and uncle. Fast forward a few years; my aunt and uncle moved to Los Angeles and I spent many years visiting them until my uncle died in 2003. Fast forward again; in 2014, I had surgery at a hospital in metro Atlanta. One of my young nurses was from Costa Mesa, California. I asked her if she knew who Roy Rogers was but she had no idea who he was. I said, “How can anybody be from California and not know who Roy Rogers was”. Anyway, I can afford anything I want but have found out that I don’t want so much anymore.
Bartley Rogers - November 30, 2019 12:12 pm
So many underpants! Must have been that vasovagal thing… Merry Christmas Sean!
Rhonda - November 30, 2019 12:15 pm
I am so proud for you! And glad I got up to read this. In my closet is an old vintage Stetson. It has a few small places where the felt has worn a bit. The inner lining is ragged and needs to be replaced. But the hat has a whole lot of wear left in it. I got it out yesterday and pondered if you would be insulted if I sent you a hand me down. I know it would be a good fishing hat. But now I am glad I didn’t. I would have sent a new one if I could.
Anyway, I have one that needs a new head. If you know of a young man who might like to have it I would gladly send it your way. Its a beaver 4x. Sometimes it looks brown and sometimes gray. Its a 7 something. print is worn away. And Roy would have loved singing some cowboy songs with you. You are a rare one indeed.
Leigh Amiot - November 30, 2019 12:35 pm
Sean got secret Santa’d!
Happy Christmas, Sean, and to everyone reading this reply!
Elizabeth - November 30, 2019 1:49 pm
I knew it! That’s fabulous! Wear it proud, Roy did and so should you!
Steven Paul Bailey - November 30, 2019 1:58 pm
Anne - November 30, 2019 2:19 pm
When I was a kid I was dying for a pony for Christmas. A few days before Christmas daddy took my brother and me to see a Shetland pony for sale. That pony was to be delivered to us on Christmas Day! I was ecstatic. A few days later daddy came home and told us the pony had kicked a kid and he didn’t think we should be getting a pony that kicked. I knew he had to be kidding us and that he just wanted to surprise us at Christmas. Christmas morning came and no pony. I was still sure they’d be delivering the pony that day. Dreams die hard. I waited and hoped all day. Late in the afternoon I went out to check our old detached garage thinking surely the pony would be there. No pony. What a crushing disappointment. Daddy had been telling the truth. There’d be no pony. Many years later around Christmas I was teaching school and we were talking about disappointment. I told my pony story. In a few days when we came back from lunch there was a beautiful stuffed pony on my desk with a note saying my pony was just a little late. Every year I get my pony out and he’s part of my Christmas decorations. You never know when your dreams might come true. Glad you got your hat and I got my pony. There are Santa’s everywhere. It’s such a blessing when one finds you.
Shelton A. - November 30, 2019 2:31 pm
Maybe Santa is one of God’s angels here on earth. Angels pay for wardrobes and surgeries, and for the little kid part that always remains with us, a cowboy hat. Wear the hat and be grateful/thankful. You don’t know how many days your writing has moved Santa to tears or an anonymous out-pouring of love. Glad you like the hat…go to any Walmart grocery or regular store and you’ll see your hat is maybe the most normal thing someone has on. Blessings to you and Jamie (and, of course, Thelma Lou and Otis).
Nancy Wright - November 30, 2019 2:42 pm
Wonderful! So glad you got your hat! Wear it in good health!
Edna Barron - November 30, 2019 2:51 pm
I have always believed in Santa. Actually, he’s my very best friend and he stops by every year on Christmas Eve for a quick cup of hot chocolate and a bit of chit chat. I love that man! You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.
Tim House - November 30, 2019 3:32 pm
Santa, or angels? But then, does it really matter? 🙂 The Spirit still exists. May it always be so!
Tom - November 30, 2019 4:00 pm
One time many years ago i got the wild hair to go back to school. We lived in a little apartment in the married students village – wife, 2 small kids & i. She babysat in the apartment & i had a couple or so parttime jobs. As we were about to leave for home for Christmas, the phone rang. It was our pastor. He asked if we were going home for Christmas. I said yessir. He said come by out house, there’s something here for you. We went by, and he handed us an envelope with 5 crisp $20 bills. Said somebody from the church left it for us. Seemed like a thousand to us. To this day we don’t know who it was. But God does.
Marilyn - November 30, 2019 4:36 pm
Sean, I love reading your blogs every day, but also enjoy reading each reader’s response! So each day I get twice as much inspiration by reading your words, and those of your fans. Blessings to you, Jamie, Thelma Lou and Otis.
Linda Moon - November 30, 2019 4:46 pm
You are very close to being SANTA SEAN by just showing up in my inbox everyday. It’s Christmas every time I read your words!!
Linda - November 30, 2019 6:51 pm
There are too many miracles in the world not to believe in the spirit of Santa
I saw one last week at the Mall and he was all alone waiting for children to come by
He looked up at me and smiled and waved
I smiled and waved back
It was such a good feeling
Let us all be Santa especially this time of year ….😘
Beverly Wynn Bua - November 30, 2019 7:46 pm
I’m not crying… really I’m not…, just happy Santa brought you your Stetson….❤️☮️
Charles Mathers - December 1, 2019 3:08 pm
Roy and I got a good laugh at you wearing that hat for three days! 😊. Of course Roy wears his every day, but hardly anyone else does these days. We were plumb tickled you still liked that old hat that much!
About not having everything figured out, don’t worry about that! Nobody else does either. I don’t have much figured out and I am Santa Claus! Just keep on telling people their butt’s not too big and you’ll do fine.
Gotta go now. Roy and I are riding the range today. He really loves that horse! And about all that underwear, that was your mom’s idea not mine. You know when your mom has an idea, we men don’t argue. Ho Ho Ho!
Jubilate - December 2, 2019 12:40 am
This one was really wonderful, Sean. Good boy.