Miracle at Sears
True Christmas Story (Really!)
few years ago I was between consulting gigs around Christmas time.
When I opened the bill for my Sears charge card, there was a note.
It invited anyone, and particularly seniors, to apply for a temporary
sales clerk position during the holidays. Being
senior-ish and suspecting I wouldn’t get anything in consulting until after
the New Year, I decided to give it a whirl.
After a couple of days training on how to run the cash registers, etc.,
they placed me in electrical supplies because of my technical background (and
because they needed someone there). Well,
it was a good change of pace for me. I
didn’t make much money, but what the hey.
Christmas approached the pace really picked up, and on the night of Dec. 23’rd
the store was jammed. I was swiping
charge cards, bagging merchandise, and ringing up some serious sales
a person handed us a charge card, we were supposed to read the name and thank
them in a personal way. “Thank you
for shopping at Sears, Mr. Smith,” etc. Anyhow,
to cut to the chase, I looked up and saw an elderly gentleman standing in front
of my register. He had a long,
snow-white beard, was a tad rotund, had rosy cheeks ... in brief, this old boy
was a dead ringer for Santa Claus. For
a moment I thought he must be an off-duty Santa from one of the mall stores.
had some minor doo-dad (I can’t remember what), and with a smile he handed me
a Master Card. I wanted to tell him
that he looked just like Santa Claus, but debated whether that would be polite.
And of course he clearly must have known that anyway.
So I bagged his purchase, swiped his card, and had
him sign the slip. Before handing
the card back to him, I glanced at the name. When I read it, I thought it must be a joke.
According to the Master Card (which was genuine ... otherwise it
wouldn’t have been accepted by the system) his name was Kris Kringle. I looked up at this old fellow and his eyes how they twinkled, his
dimples how merry!
Bug-eyed, I asked, “Are you ...”
With eyes totally devoid of guile, he smiled at me
and said, “I am.”
And with that, he took his little bag and
disappeared into the crowd. I stood
there with gaping jaw, trying to catch the other sales clerks’ eyes, pointing
at the crowd that had closed in around him and squawking, “It’s him! It’s really him!”
But, everyone was busy and no one heard me.
That night when I got home, I recounted the incident to my wife. She smiled and looked at me like she believed every word.
(She always does that. What a gal!) But I could tell that she
was thinking that it was time for me to be getting on with my consulting career.
I was inclined to agree with her.
was Santa Claus. Honestly, it really was!