Features

Are you really too old to visit Santa Claus?

By Caitlin Sawicki
Staff Writer

It’s December, which means finals are approaching and the Christmas season is here.

What better time of the year to bring out my inner child than now? Recently, I went to the Christmas Ice Caverns in Fairfield to visit Santa and have my picture taken with him. Ok, I know what you’re probably thinking; “Why would a 19-year-old college student want her photo taken with some fat guy in a red suit?” But, why not?

“I’ve had children as young as four days old,” said Beesley. “My oldest visitor was a 104-year old woman. Her nurse came with her, pushing her in a wheelchair.”

During my visit, I had a really nice conversation with Santa, a.k.a. Ray Beesley, who has not only been playing the iconic role for over 40 years, but was also rated North Jersey’s most popular Santa.

I think what really makes any visit with him special is the time that he takes with each child (and adult) that goes to visit him. Not only does he ask the famous, “What do you want for Christmas” question, but he sits down and has a conversation with you, like he genuinely wants to know more about you. After telling him I wanted a Corvette for Christmas (one can dream, right?) he asked about me and how I was doing.

What’s even more spectacular is Santa doesn’t only visit malls, but nursing homes.

“There are patients that have Alzheimer’s and can’t communicate as well as they used to,” he said. “But, when I walk in the room, something must click in their mind, because their face lights up immediately.”

Next time you’re forced to go with your younger siblings to see Santa, or if you’re thinking about going with friends, don’t be an Ebenezer Scrooge; it’s actually really fun. As an adult, you will appreciate it even more because in the five-minute conversation that I had with Santa, I felt like I was 10-years-old again. I walked out with a sense of joy and the feeling of Christmas spirit in my heart. You are never too old to embrace your inner child. Go visit Santa Claus and have your picture taken with him!

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