Everyone in my area knows that the REAL Santa can only be found at the Yankee Candle Flagship store, where he works all year. Except for his days off. Then Mrs. Claus flies in, of course.

I’ve taken Malone to see him on numerous occasions. In the summer months Santa spends his time sitting in his workshop, dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and folding origami. As it moves closer to fall, he changes into a lumberjack type outfit complete with suspenders. And for winter, well you know he wears his dress suit! And in case you’re wondering, Santa’s workshop is filled with toys…that you can buy. Yankee Candle is no fool.

See.. here is sweet baby Malone and Santa circa 2009.


So, fast forward to last Friday morning. I and several of my friends are sitting in a funeral, listening to and honoring the wonderful legacy our friend Eric’s dad left. The man in the front row of the choir behind the pastor looks very familiar to me, but I can’t put my thumb on it.

Somewhere between “Amazing Grace” and “I Did It My Way”, it dawns on me. THAT is the REAL Santa. And he’s AT my friend’s dad’s funeral.  A Celebrity sighting!

What happened next is something I am quite ashamed of. I basically PUNCHED the person I was sitting next and yell whispered (yeah, like YOU’VE never done that before.. don’t even try to say haven’t), “Oh my goodness! Look! That guy in the choir it is SANTA!!!!!!!!!!!! THE REAL  YANKEE CANDLE SANTA IS HERE!!!”

Because, obviously I’m six years old when it comes to Santa sightings.

And then I reached for my phone. To take a picture of Santa at a funeral. Because, of course it would have been the most epic of all epic Instagrams. I would have been Twitter Famous.

Then I took a really deep breath, put phone away, and remembered.


Not only that, I was there to support my friend who had just lost his dad. This wasn’t a wedding I crashed, I came here on purpose. I rearranged my day because I wanted to be near my friend. To sit in silence. To mourn with him. To give him a hug and tell him I know just how hard it is to lose a parent.

And then I felt like a huge oversharing jerk. I know I DIDN’T do it. But I thought about doing it, which is basically kind of the same.

Santa Big Girl Panties

I spent my drive home reflecting on what social media means to me and what is okay and what isn’t.

I realized that Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram are stealing too much of my time. Time that I never seem to have enough of to WIN against my to do list. Time that I could be using to play or read with Malone instead of reading the SAME status update I read from a friend when I looked at Facebook an hour ago.

I went to bed that night with new limits for myself and social media. Both how much I consume and how much I put out. I am working towards finding a balance in all of it.

Disclaimer- I spoke to my friend about this before writing this post to make sure he was okay with it. He said yes, and that Santa has been going to his church since he was a little boy. Also, I know that this person has a real life and a real name, but I don’t know it. So Santa it is. 

Do you struggle with your social media consumption? If you saw Santa in an unusual place, would you try to capture a picture too?  Let me know in the comments below.

This post is part of a 31 day series about Big Girl Panties. Click here to read the rest of the series.