Monday, December 7, 2009

All I want for Christmas is a long, white beard

I’ve always been pretty happy being a female. Not only have I gotten to experience the wonderment that is childbirth and motherhood, but I also have the privilege to cry during greeting card commercials and at my children’s choir concerts.
There is one thing that rolls around every year that reminds me that being a gal isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I may be able to wear cookie-scented lotion and own multitudes of shoes, but never, ever will I be able to be a member of AORBS.
You know, the Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas.
I didn’t know that this prestigious group existed until a recent news article caught my attention. The AORBS group was commenting that they should be right up in the front of the line with the given shortage of flu vaccines. Their argument was that part of their holiday cheer is being sneezed and coughed on by millions of children asking for shiny new bicycles and video games, while they themselves were just wishing to spend their Christmas surrounded by reindeer that flew as opposed to the swine variety.
Regardless of the outcome of the issue, it got me thinking about this group and after a little researched I realized just how special this group of bearded men are.
The group started way back in 1994 when a group of 10 real-bearded Santas were working on a project together. In their down time they decided to create an organization, and AORBS was born.
As with most groups, there were ups and downs, changes of power and politics. But just like the magic of Christmas itself, AORBS lives on. Their membership is constantly growing, despite the strict requirements it takes to join. To be a member, you must have played Santa at one point in your life, and (here’s the tough one for me) have a real beard that you grew yourself—“no substitutions or otherwise.”
And so, with that single line, I am crushed that I can never be a part of such an impressive group. Because they are impressive, these men with their big, itchy gray beards, who probably spend 11 months out of the year with people snickering and children pointing and most likely some smarty pants asking where the sleigh is parked. But they probably just smile and nod and go on their merry ways because they know deep down they are doing something really very important.
They’re helping out the main elf, the big guy in red with the jiggling belly.
Not only do they endure crowded malls and mothers with digital cameras, but they give the gift of magic to each and every person that passes their way. While some children may cry (for example, mine) or others may freeze in the sheer terror that someone so mysterious could be there with an open lap, listening to their heart’s desire, they make so many of us think twice about someone, somewhere, checking a list just as many times. And we see that beard and after close examination discover that it’s not the kind that Santa pulls down when he eats his cookies and even for a second, we wonder if maybe, just maybe, this guy’s the real deal.
And I don’t know about you all, but I don’t take any chances when it comes to being naughty or nice. Which is why I’ll follow the rules and sadly, very sadly, never even attempt to apply to be a member of AORBS even though it remains on my Christmas list.


HOLLY COOKIES


If I did ever get a chance to grow a beard and be a member, I would take my fingers off the side of my nose and cross them in hopes that children everywhere would leave me these sweet and festive treats.


1 stick butter

40 large marshmallows

½ tsp vanilla

green food coloring

4-4 ½ cups corn flakes

Red Hots (cinnamon candies)


Melt the butter and marshmallows in a pan over medium heat, stirring constantly. When melted, remove from heat and stir in vanilla and as much green food coloring as you’d like. Quickly stir in the corn flakes and once combined, put spoonfuls of the gooey mess on pieces of foil sprayed with cooking spray. Before the cookies are set, add a cinnamon candy or two in each cookie, giving the holly a few berries. Store these in the refrigerator and if you’re smart, hide them from your children and certain bloggers...

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