Letter: We found Santa Claus at Le Pavillon

275-Elayne-MinzenbergLetter: We found Santa Claus at Le Pavillon

Elayne Minzenberg
Ocala, FL

Dear Editor:

All it takes is one person to make something special happen…just one. As Christmas 2015 approached, myself and 2 of my other senior friends with families that are distant or non-existent, decided to spend Christmas day in St. Augustine, FL.

We only live 2 hours from there so it was a good chance to just spend some time in the ancient city and take in the St. Augustine Lights of Nights that this city puts on so well each year during the Christmas holidays. We drove up early on Christmas morning and checked into our hotel. It was beautiful that day but a bit hot for that time of year in Florida. We took a walk around and went back to the hotel to change for dinner. We had made restaurant reservations at Le Pavillon on San Marco Avenue….a lovely place…a bit out of our budget but after all, it was Christmas.

It was beautiful….we ordered our dinners from the special Christmas menu and toasted a glass of wine in honor of our friendship. As three senior ladies, we appreciate each other for who we are and how we are. The dinner couldn’t have been more delicious. We chatted and laughed at some of our antics on other trips we had made. Each time we go somewhere, we are always fortunate enough to have an adventure of some kind. I have learned that the older you get, the more you can add humor to just about anything that you go through in this lifetime. Sometimes, our silliness leads one or all of us into robust laughter out loud. But not this time and most definitely not in this restaurant…after all, it was Christmas and our best behavior was in order.

As we finished our dinner, the waitress approached and asked if we would like dessert. With our bellies full, we graciously declined. One of us asked for the check and the waitress hesitated. She said “You are all good to go”. We said fine and asked for the check. She replied, “Santa took care of that for you”. With our jaws dropping and tears welling up…we were so taken back.

One of my friends had noticed a gentleman and his wife or lady friend had been pointing to us and talking to the waitress earlier upon our arrival. It was or seemed insignificant. When this couple left, he said “Merry Christmas”…again…we returned the greeting and didn’t give it a second thought because….after all, it was Christmas.

The waitress was smiling and we were, for once, speechless. Now we know that our bill had to be over $100.00. We did tip the waitress graciously.

For the rest of the weekend, we tried to determine why us….out of all the people having Christmas dinner in the restaurant, why were we chosen. Was it because we were seniors with white hair? Was it because we seemed to enjoy each other’s company? Was it because we were not coupled up or with a family group? I suppose we will never know.

So to the gentleman with the short sleeve light colored button up shirt with the fish printed on it and the plaid cap that snapped at the brim…we say thank you….from the bottom of our hearts. This happens to other people and this time, we were the “other people”. We cannot tell you how much you have made our Christmas day 2015 special with your kindness and generosity.

Still, almost a month later, when we get together for dinner, we always bring up the Christmas blessing we received from a kind stranger. Each of us has shared this story with other friends but….I guess you had to be there to feel what we felt. You will, forever, be part of our special Christmas story. May this New Year bring you peace, abundance, health and love.

Always pay it forward however and whenever you can….you never know the impact you will have on someone else.

Brenda, Carol, and Elayne

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