Santa needs you to enlist this holiday season

Published 3:49 pm Friday, December 7, 2018

Everyone has seen the iconic image emblazoned across the attention-grabbing posters: A white-haired, bearded man pointing fiercely as he glares and says, “We want you!”

All these years I thought it was Uncle Sam, but now know I was wrong.

My revelation began when the phone rang yesterday morning and the caller ID said The North Pole. It was Santa Claus himself letting me in on the little-known fact that it was really his likeness on those posters, although they used a younger and thinner portrait.

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I guess he owed the government one for not blasting him with missiles when over our air space each year and he needed some helping hands himself, so he decided to kill two birds with one stone.

I didn’t know exactly what else to say to old Saint Nick other than, “Thanks for sharing this secret Santa. What can I do to help?”

The big, round elf from the North Pole just sighed, clearly tired of explaining a concept that children grasp but adults often overlook.

“I need you to spread holiday cheer to those who are less fortunate.”

“Absolutely; I can do that.” I asked, “Has this been a problem lately?”

“Well, we can always use some extra hands, especially this time of year when many less fortunate people are struggling to put the ‘happy’ in ‘happy holidays,’” Santa said to me.

“OK, I will use my platform to get the word out that Santa’s Army needs a little help,” I said as I hung up the phone.

So, I started to look for ways to help in the community — and there is a lot going on!

I quickly realized that Santa must have been burning up the phones because he had already enlisted so many others.

Countless civic and community organizations are already hard at work. The schools, veteran groups, churches and other selfless volunteers are already playing the role of Santa’s helpers by giving to food pantries, homeless shelters, creating toy drives, filling angel trees and leading projects that hope to spread as much holiday cheer as they can.

With a smile on my face, I started to reflect on all that I had learned and look for ways I can help out. I quickly realized that my small share adds up with each and every other Good Samaritan.

It takes all of us, but we can make a difference.

Santa was right. This is an example where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, meaning that each random act of kindness means a lot, but when all are combined, they mean the world to those in need.

I may just be a big kid at heart, but I still believe in Santa Claus. With less than three weeks to go, I am already starting to think about my milk and cookies for the big night, although I think I may give them to someone who needs them a little more than St. Nick.

I know Santa will understand. In fact, he expects no less.

Do a good deed. Help someone in need. Spread some holiday cheer. Give in the spirit of the season.

Santa can always use a few extra elves in his army, but he promised not to make anyone wear those pointy hats.

Michael Caldwell is interim publisher of The Advocate-Messenger and Danville Living Magazine. He can be reached at (859) 759-0095 or by email at