Last night my daughter asked if I could buy a Santa hat for her to wear ice skating with friends. But I couldn’t find one anywhere. You would expect them to be sold out on Christmas Eve. Later, as I exited the UTC mall’s food court, I saw four security guards sitting around a table, the woman among them wearing a Santa hat. Surely they would know where to find one! I approached and cheerfully asked if they could suggest a store selling santa hats.
Whoops, they weren’t security guards, but San Diego fire and rescue—and what an oddly together group. I explained that my daughter wanted a hat to wear skating. One firefighter suggested Sports Chalet. We chatted for a few minutes about other stores. Just as I was about to leave, the firefighter with the hat offered it up for my daughter. I didn’t want to take it away from her, not from someone doing first response on Christmas Eve!
But she insisted, and the offer was too gracious. Besides, one of the guys joked, “Don’t worry. We’ve had her deloused.” The hat was small gift on Christmas Eve, but one with special meaning. These people put their lives at risk every day, and they’re the first to show up when there is crisis. Already they give so much, and tonight they gave a little more.
If you see a firefighter or EMT, give them an extra warm Christmas greeting. They’re not home with family, but waiting for that emergency call and chance to give someone the most special of Christmas presents: Life.