In our old church, The KingofHearts had a long-standing job for many years of playing Santa at the church Christmas party.  It all started shortly after we got married and he was asked to do it.  We didn't really know anyone in the ward, but we helped out in the nursery and he knew all the kids' names.  He was really great at it and most of the kids walked away from sitting on his lap impressed that he knew them and something about them.  It impressed their parents too, but probably in a creepy, shouldn't-you-be-staying-one-hundred-feet-away-from-any-school-or-playground sort of way and not necessarily in the Spirit-of-Christmas kinda way in which it was intended.

Now that we go to NewChurch, he hasn't really been asked to fill the roll because they tend to cast it as a "find the fattest guy in the congregation" kinda role, rather than "find a guy who might be good talking to kids."

But OldChurch still remembers The KingofHearts, so they called him up this year and a) invited us to their Christmas party so b) he could play Santa. It was actually kind of fun because OldChurch is the melding of two congregations (one we used to attend and the other just south of us geographically) and there were a lot of kids who didn't know him at all.  Which means even the kids who used to know him hadn't seen him in awhile so most didn't recognize him and weren't quite sure if this dude was the really real Santa or not.

There appeared to be a lack of personal space inherent in the queue.

Of course, The Dormouse was there to dash everyone's hopes to the ground. 

"Hi Dad."  "I'm Santa."  "Right. Hi Dad." "You know what? Don't annoy Santa."

The Caterpillar didn't care and was just happy to be included. We know there's no chance they won't recognize Daddy, so we gave them the Daddy's helping Santa so let's not ruin the fun for the other kids schtick.

"Can you tell Santa I want a toy puppy?"
"I love you DaddyClaus."
Bringing Daddy Claus cookies because he missed dessert.

Santa made The Bishop sit on his lap and then gave him a present he wasn't expecting.

I love this picture because it's one of the few times I've seen this man laugh.

But my favorite part was sitting off to the side of the stage and watching the little kids lose all composure.  I knew if I waited long enough, I'd have a photo worthy of a bad santa photo contest.

This might be my favorite holiday memory ever.