Say cheese! This is one of the common slogans we ask children to say when they are getting their picture taken. Over the holiday season I got the chance to use this phrase frequently when I volunteered with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) at the Kirkwood Mall in Bismarck, by being Santa’s helper. Throughout the day I got to see many people of all ages, mainly children, and take their picture with Santa. I heard many Christmas wishes and saw many smiling faces. I even witnessed tears along with a few children who were scared of Santa but interested to find out more about him. It was fascinating to see so many people excited about the holidays but at the same time stressed out because they had not finished Christmas shopping. It is important to take time for your family, friends, and especially yourself to enjoy this time of year.
I realize that Christmas has passed and we are onto a brand new year, filled with new beginnings. However, one thing I realized from volunteering over the holidays was that everyone that sat on Santa’s lap had their own personal story, young and old. I encourage people in this new year to take the time and ask others about their story and get to know them better instead of just by name. More importantly, take the time to enjoy the small things in life that are so easily forgotten.
Miss North Dakota International 2011