by Lee Juslin
Frosty’s My Name, Playing Santa’s My Game was first published on examiner.com 12/2010.
As a certified therapy dog, I visit Sterling House of New Bern every Tuesday morning throughout the year, and every December I host my annual holiday party. This year will be my eighth party. Now, it’s not polite to ask a lady her age, but let’s just say I’m a mature girl and you do the math.
Each year the holiday party has gotten bigger and better until my party has become the event of the holiday season. The day before, mom takes all the gift baskets I’ll be handing out up to the home while I spend the morning at the spa. Then, it’s party day. I put on my custom made Santa suit instead of my regular therapy vest, and we head out.
Though we have no snow on the ground–this is the south after all–the air is cool and crisp and filled with a sense of anticipation. PARTEE!!!!
The front door of the home opens wide and there are all the residents, my good friends, waiting for me. I sashay into the middle of the group so everyone can admire my Santa outfit. In case you’re wondering, I do wear the dratted Santa hat. Oh, the sacrifices I make for my career.
With everyone assembled around the Christmas tree, we begin. Mom reads some Christmas stories and poems. She has a few new ones this year, but my favorite is still Ogden Nash’s The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus.
Then, I sit in laps for individual pictures. Now you might call this a kind of reverse Santa visit. You might, but I wouldn’t. You see with my luxurious beard, even though it isn’t Santa white, and even though I don’t have the Ho Ho Ho part down, I actually make a pretty good Santa. I mean this Santa guy is supposed to be an elf after all, and I am a bit height challenged. Besides, when I cuddle in laps and receive the pats and hugs from the residents, I just know we all feel the true Christmas spirit right there in the living room of the home and it’s spelled: L O V E.
Next we hand out the gift bags I have for all the residents. I need help with this part since I don’t have thumbs. Hello, I’m a Scottish Terrier. Then, Miss Diane, the enrichment coordinator, leads us in a holiday trivia quiz. We added that part this year. Remember I told you my party is bigger and better each year. And, although no one knows it, I CAN name all eight reindeer! Last, we have hot cocoa and Christmas cookies. I skip the cocoa but Mom has a stash of my own cookies so we can all munch happily together. We’re probably ruining our appetites for lunch but who cares? It’s Christmas.
As we leave Sterling House, my party host duties are not quite over because we take the pictures mom took and input them into her computer at home. She prints up individual cards using the pictures of me sitting in laps so I can deliver them next week during my pre-New Year’s visit. And, no, I don’t dress in a diaper for that one. Let’s not overdo it.
Parties are fun but they can be exhausting, especially if you’re the host. I don’t know what Mom has planned for the afternoon, but there’s a lounge chair at home with my name on it.
Frosty Meadow aka Santa Girl (RB 3/8/12)
Read more about Frosty: Hampshire Hooligans.
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