I feel like one of my daughters when I say, “Tonight was the best night ever!” But it pretty much was. I have spent the last few hours laughing, talking with some great people at a couple different holiday parties, and spending some quality one-on-one time with Santa.

The fun started a few weeks back when my otherwise reserved, laid-back, almost too-serious-at-times, husband decided he would show support to one of his realtors by dressing up as Santa at her annual Christmas client appreciation party.

As a wife, I always try to be supportive of everything my husband does but when he mentioned to me that he was thinking of helping out as Santa I knew I had to go into super-support mode. After all, this seemed like a once in a lifetime opportunity and I just had to take it.

So tonight, while our kids were at the park with our sitter, Brent suited up. There were several moments when I thought I might go into labor as I watched him put on that Santa suit. I just couldn’t stop laughing. The suit came with one of those pillows that any women who have ever shopped at a maternity clothing store would have recognized. It looked just like the pillow you try on to simulate what it is like being farther a long in your pregnancy in order to make sure that the clothes you are buying fit later.

But once Brent put the suit with the pillow tummy on he pretty much looked like a pregnant Santa. He was still too thin on top so we had to strip him down and add an extra pillow across his abdomen and chest to fill him out a little more. Even then the fake patent leather belt was still a little too loose. He finished it off with the wig, the beard, the spectacles, and the classic hat. He decided to omit the eyebrows because they were so big and bushy that he couldn’t see with them on. They were like eye mustaches. As it was it was hard enough for him to see anything past his huge pillow-stuffed suit belly. I had to bend over and hand stuff to him because he just couldn’t see. At this point I was hysterical.

So we gathered up our stuff and headed to our first party where “Santa” would greet his little guests at Pinky’s Pizza Parlor. We arrived there and loaded Santa’s bag with the extra toys to give out to the kids. Having practiced his “Ho! Ho! Ho!’s” he walked in to greet everyone. It was so adorable to see little kids tentatively coming up to Santa and tell him what they wanted to get for Christmas. Santa was so wonderful with the kids, as any father would be, and even the tiniest of kids seemed comfortable with him (to a degree).

After sitting in the pizza parlor for a half an hour sometimes visited by kids and sometimes just sitting there saying “Ho! Ho! Ho!” to himself, we headed off to our next party which was a potluck.

The plan was for Brent to stay in his Santa suit when we arrived at the second party. But as we rounded the corner looking for a place to park we noticed that inside the front window we could see that there was already a Santa at the party. Brent knew instantly that our plan would have to change “I can’t go in there” he said. What would the kids have done if he had? We surely would have heard the question, “Would the real Santa please stand up?” There might have been pandemonium, confusion, and perhaps even tears. So my “Santa” waited in the car while I went in to say “hello” and drop off my cheese ball.

Once inside I was once again in stitches as I told my friends that my husband couldn’t come into the party because he was dressed as Santa and sitting in the car. The hostess of the party laughed with me and told me had she known she wouldn’t have hired that guy off of Craigslist to come to their party and instead would have just had Brent do it. Who knew?

I felt bad leaving him in the car as long as I did but I had such a good time laughing a little at his expense. Eventually I went back out because I couldn’t stop picturing my poor husband sitting alone in our car dressed as Santa.

We then headed to our final holiday party but made a few key stops before showing up. I thoroughly enjoyed driving Santa around Petaluma. We eventually showed up at our last party of the evening and after Santa greeted a few more people he disappeared only to have my husband re-appear a few minutes later (apparently he had all that he could take in that itchy fake beard).

Tonight I learned that sometimes the people you think you know so well can surprise you by the things they are willing to do for others. Not only did my husband show up for a friend tonight, and was wonderful with the children, but he gave me a huge gift. He reminded me how important it is to smile and laugh. Sometimes I forget that there is humor in the day-to-day absurdities of life. Tonight I laughed so much that my face still hurts and I’m certain that I will be smiling for days to come. For that, and so much more, I am truly grateful for my night with “Santa”.

Merry Christmas!