“I Love Being Santa”- Stories from the Boardwalk Santa Claus

Even Santa deserves a vacation after all of his hard work. But he always makes time for the children on the beach and boardwalk of Ocean City, Maryland.

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Santa Claus trades his sleigh for a two speed bike on the boardwalk in OCMD.

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to see Santa Claus on the infamous boardwalk of Ocean City, Maryland, then you’ve been in the presence of true magic. Trading in his reindeer and sleigh for a cherry red bicycle and his bag of toys for his bag of seashells, Santa brings magic to people all along the quaint coastal town. We’ve been lucky enough to spot Santa along the boardwalk and chat with him about what it means to be Santa in Ocean City, Maryland. And we are truly pleased to be able to bring our readers a segment called: “I Love Being Santa.” These Santa stories touch on a love for the beach, family, and believing in magic. We hope you enjoy.

I Love Being Santa because……

Santa visits a young beach goer on a summer day in Ocean City, Maryland.
I never know when or where the next wonderful story will occur.
I love when a child’s parent is surprised to see me and reacts in a very positive way, like jumping up and down and yelling “SANTA!!!…SANTA!”. “You really are here?!” I know right away it’s going to be a fun visit with the kids. I was walking on the beach the other day, testing out my new cooler in the sand, when a mother reacted just that way.
 
I was immediately impressed with mom’s energy and positive karma. I literally felt something physical, like static electricity, engulf me. I’m not exaggerating. It was a first for me. Mom has the energy of a 5 year old after a nap! Mom said “Who knew we’d see Santa walking on the beach here in Ocean City?!” I get that comment a lot.
Santa visits with children on the boardwalk and offer them a special seashell as a souvenir.
Mom has two children, a boy aged 15 (let’s call him Mark) and a younger daughter, maybe 8 or 9 years old. They were both sitting on the beach below us letting the waves flow over them while playing in the sand. I have a special place in my heart for children dealing with difficult situations. As Santa, I know I can make them feel special, if only for a few moments. Part of the conversation is treating them like any other child….but with extra love.
 
Mom pulled me aside and asked if I would visit with Mark. She told me he had survived brain cancer and would love to meet me. Mom gave me a quick, but precise description of Mark’s condition. It was obvious to me she had it memorized and had communicated it to others many, many times. Mark had brain cancer when he was just 12 months old. He’s cancer free now, but the cancer did some damage. He doesn’t have the use of his legs, but he can sit up and communicate well.
 
I grabbed my bag of “special” seashells and followed mom to the kids. With mom’s permission, I sat on the beach next to the kids in the sand and we talked. Mom hovered over us, which I completely understood. Mark was excited to see me but Mark was skeptical  that I was the real Santa. He told me he didn’t believe in my elves. I laughed and asked if he would like to “gently” pull my beard. With mom’s permission, Mark gave my beard a tug. I pretended that it hurt. Both Mark and his mom giggled.
 
Mark is a handsome young man, with strong features and dark curly hair. Mark immediately reminded me of my son, who is now 22 years old, has strong features and dark curly hair. When my son was younger, he would sit and play in the sand just like Mark and his sister. I tried to block this out of my mind. My focus needed to be on Mark.
 
I showed Mark my bag of “special” seashells. I use them for special situations, like birthdays. There were about a dozen beautiful shells with many colors and shapes. I told Mark he could have one and to let me know which one was his favorite. Mark asked if he could have two. I said of course. When I realized Mark was fascinated by the shells, I pulled them from the bag. Mark and I discussed the attributes of each one while sitting in the sand. At first, Mark had a little trouble differentiating the colors, but with a little coaching from mom, he got them all.
Santa takes a vacation in Ocean City, Maryland.
Mark had a lot to tell me. I sat and listened. I’m not sure how long I was there.
I noticed mom was gently crying, but I tried to block it out. My focus needed to be on Mark. Mark said, “You really are Santa!!!” I said, “Yes I am”.
Mark put his arms out for a hug. I gave Mark a big hug and told him I love him. Mark hugged me back and told me he loved me, too. I heard mom sob.
 
I don’t remember much after that. I was having a hard time holding it together. Mark reminded me of my son. I remember praying to God that my son would be happy and healthy. I was feeling many emotions. I still am as I write this story.
Mom hugged me and thanked me. Mom was amazing!
We said our goodbyes and I began walking up the beach again. Forever changed.
I’m amazed at the strength of will and depth of love I witnessed from Mom.
God put her on this earth for Mark- a real angel.
 
I love being Santa.

1 COMMENT

  1. My grandson saw and spoke with you for a few moments!!! The rest on the afternoon and evening that’s all he talked about and even if somebody talked to him somewhere in their chat he would say, guess who I saw today, then Santa!!! He talked about you the whole weekend and off and on even through the year, I guess that memory would just pop up!!! When summer begins he will start talking about you a lot. We were just down OC for this 2023 Thanksgiving and yes, we went on the boardwalk, first thing he said, do you think we will see Santa with big bright eyes!!!?? I’m not sure but, we will probably see one of his helpers, because I knew one of the stores was having Santa there that day!!!?

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