Christmas spirit alive and well in Penticton

I wanted some way to thank that man with the Santa hat for his courtesy, thoughtfulness and sleigh ride

Arriving in Penticton aboard a Greyhound from Kelowna I felt the spirit of Christmas last week. I came down to visit friends prior to Christmas. When I arrived, I felt the cold wind that seemed only too brisk as I did not have on proper headgear and soon felt its fury on my ears.

Towing my luggage behind me, I walked a few blocks to catch a local transit bus. I was directed to stand below a bus stop without the convenience of a shelter. After waiting some time I watched my bus drive past, while I waited for the driver to pull over for me.

Disappointed, cold, I noticed another bus coming, I held out my hand and the bus pulled over. The driver informed me that the bus stop I was at was designated only for two other numbered buses. He explained to me that he could take me to Cherry Lane mall and I could catch the No. 2 bus in about another half-hour. That was not bad as I started to feel my body once more and they had one of those bus shelters which sheltered me from those cold winds.

While waiting patiently I noticed a gentleman wearing a Santa’s hat, coming out of the Bay store entrance, with bags under both arms. As he walked in front of me, I said, “Hey Santa, where’s your sleigh?” He gestured and replied, “Over there,” which was in the direction of some vehicles in the parking spaces. When he came back he asked, “You still here?” I replied, “Yes, my bus does not come for at least 15 more minutes.” He headed back to the store.

A few minutes later he came back again and offered me a ride to my destination. At almost the same time, the person I was coming to visit had also appeared at the same bus stop. After introductions to him, by saying “This is the person I was coming to see,” he motioned us to follow him to his “sleigh”. We loaded my luggage in the back and hopped aboard to our destination.

On the way we shared small talk until we arrived to a warm home. This gentleman, new to the Valley with a big smile upon his face, gave me a great feeling about the spirit of the season we call Christmas.

I wanted some way to thank that man with the Santa hat for his courtesy, thoughtfulness and sleigh ride. Yes there is a Santa Claus. Sometimes he comes in different shapes and sizes, but it always brings out the best of the season. Thank you!

Ron White