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Surfing Santa

December 4th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Time and Place, travel near home

Margaret Murray relates an encounter with a mythic figure at the ocean’s edge. (And no, it is not a shark.)

Surfing Santa on Capitola Beach? “No way,” you say? But yes! Well, sort of. Santa actually arrived in a long, narrow canoe in the rolling surf just south of Santa Cruz, California. True to character, Santa came right on time, the Saturday after Thanksgiving at noon–in sync with the famed Macy’s Parade through New York’s Times Square.

My granddaughters, my friend, and I stood in the rain along with at least a hundred other people, two-thirds of whom were under five years old. Emma and Sophie, ages three and six, were exuberant, if hesitant, about his arrival, but I was not. Santa still fills me with excitement just as he did when I was five, waiting in line to sit on his lap at Kaufmann’s Department Store in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

We all stood inches from the crashing surf in the soft November rain looking into the gray misty horizon for signs of him: Is that Santa? No, it’s a brown pelican swooping through the bobbing grebes. Is someone waving out there? It’s Santa! Is he really surfing? The boat looks so tiny. Here he comes!

Santa and his stalwart crew of five jumped out of the narrow canoe (about the width of a kayak) onto the wet sand. He wore a red and white Hawaiian shirt over his wet suit. Here was a fit Santa all right, no bulging belly. But he still had his shiny black boots! His red cheeks. His beard as white as snow.

I picked up one granddaughter and held her in front of him as he inched up the beach, kids clamoring all over. When Santa reached out to give Emma the hi-five, she slapped his wet hand back hard. We all shrieked with happiness. Santa had arrived!
© Margaret C. Murray, 2010. Used with permission. California novelist Margaret Murray is the author of Sundagger.net (WriteWords Press, 2008). Her next novel, Dreamers, will be published in 2011.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Shelley Buck

    Margaret, This narrative takes me right back to the delights of childhood–the excitement and specialness of this season! It’s so much better than regarding gloomy weather out the window. Yay for the Surfing Santa!

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