Last year, we heard word of a Santa on a golf cart cruising through our neighborhood and those neighborhoods around us.
We were busy that night and never really thought twice about missing it. I mean, how good would it be anyway? Was it just a man in a Santa suit cruising in a golf cart? And after all, how many Santas were we going to see during the Christmas season? We could miss this one …
Well only now do I know that last year, we truly missed out on one of the most magical nights of the year.
Our First Encounter
Our oldest is 4 this year. For the first time as parents, we really got to experience Christmas. He got it and was excited for Santa and all that went along with him. We penned the date in our calendars for when Golf Cart Santa would cruise through our hood. We did not want to miss it this year, even if it was just a man in a Santa suit cruising on a gold cart.
A week or so before Golf Cart Santa was due in our neighborhood, our dear friends invited us to share in the experience in their neighborhood a few miles away from ours. Knowing how the holidays go and because Flumageddon was hitting Lafayette, we took them up on their offer while we were available and healthy — just in case something came up when it was our turn.
We heard the music from a few streets over, but we had no idea what we were about to experience.
We anxiously waited as Golf Cart Santa made a stop at the top of our friends’ street as he approached the stop right in front of their house.
Y’all. This is no run of the mill golf cart.
You can see the lights from more than a mile away.
Golf Cart Santa pulls up with a better audio system than Target. He has his reindeer, the elves, and the most beautiful Mrs. Clause you will ever see. They do not just park and wave. Golf Cart Santa puts on a full production. He gets off of his “sleigh” and dances and takes pictures and talks to every kid who is willing.
Everyone is in full character. The elves excitedly hand out candy canes as they act with the music and tell of their North Pole adventures. Mrs. Clause floats around caring for each kid as if she knows them by name.
We were asked multiple times if we got a picture with Santa. They do not roll until everyone is taken care of. Where on Earth do you get the kind of treatment? And we were just ONE stop of MANY — like one of 7.
Filled with Magic
As Golf Cart Santa pulled away and we all recounted the experience, I could not stop my eyes from welling up with tears.
I have not experienced anything quite like this before. It was as if I was convinced to believe in Santa all over again.
There was no other reason for Golf Cart Santa than to spread magic — the joy of Christmas.
There were no advertisements or donation buckets or any other hidden agenda.
It was just magic. It was magic that felt rare and over-the-top special.
So the following week or so was our neighborhood’s night for Golf Cart Santa. We were moving the following week (5 days after Christmas) so we had spent the day emptying our attic — a task involving little to no magic. But we fed our kids and forced ourselves out the door just in time to see Golf Cart Santa pull onto our street. Our neighborhood showed up in full force. There were more than double the amount of people there for the experience than we had in our friends’ neighborhood.
I did not just well up with tears this time, though. I had actual tears. I was completely moved by the experience as the Golf Cart Santa Team ensured that everyone — irrespective of how large the crowd was — got the full experience.
My in-laws were with us and as we watched Golf Cart Santa pull away, my mother-in-law said, “I think I am enjoying this as much as the kids.”
And that is just it. It was wholeheartedly enjoyable for everyone. We were not just doing it for the kids, but we were all experiencing the magic.
In 2019 and as a 31-year-old adult, I find those moments fewer and farther between.
See you next year?
We no longer live on Golf Cart Santa’s route. But if he shows up this year (2020) with more magic than anyone else I have ever physically been around, I will do my best to put my family in his path.
“Santa tell me if you’re really there
Don’t make me fall in love again
If he won’t be here next year . . .”