Our next door neighbor is a burly man with a long beard and a kind heart. My 3 year old grandson, Austin, was busy playing with Thomas the Tank Engine on our living room floor a couple of weeks ago when he glanced out the window. Running to Grandpa, Austin announced that Santa was outside! Grandpa looked outside and saw Vince busy at work, chopping wood in his red shirt and suspenders. He asked Austin if he would like to talk to Santa and before you could say "On Dasher," Austin was out the door! Walking right up to Vince, Austin said, "Hi, Santa!" Vince didn't miss a beat as he greeted the little fellow, asked his name, and if he had been behaving himself. Austin replied that he was Austin, 3 years old, his sister Ruby was 2, and they had both been behaving just fine. After a few more minutes of conversation, Santa returned to his wood chopping and Austin returned to Thomas the Tank Engine, satisfied that he had made a good impression on Santa. I don't know if Vince realized how his generous heart made an even more important impression on Austin, but I believe it is a memory Austin will carry with him for life and for that I am thankful.
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night."