Hallmark Moment – For Real

Shea is a huge snow globe fan, she loves them. I love that she loves them. That being said, she has her moments of being a klutz and a snow globe would not last more that about 10 minutes in her hands before it was in pieces on the floor. Shea has a tendency to walk into walls, drop things, trip over air mines or puppies with broken legs, and generally speaking uncoordinated at times. So, last year I bought Shea a quasi snow globe that I found at the Hallmark store. I call him “Tappin Santa” but I am sure he has a branded name through Hallmark. Santa, as you can see from the photo lives in a “dome” that poses as a globe minus the water and the snow. He is designed to connect with some winter friends and they do a Chorusline type act. However, when solo, they are on their own. This Santa is solo. After pushing the button Santa does a dance, a tap dance and music plays. Tappin Santa became a seasonal favorite quickly in the house. Shea carried him everywhere, brought him to bed, put him in purses and he pretty much became her BFF that didn’t talk back to her. When he danced, she danced. When company came she busted him out and had him dance so she could dance. Naturally a two year old behaving like this brought on a warm reception from all that saw the routine.

Betsy Hansen
Poor Tappin' Santa

FLASH FORWARD to last Thursday. Shea, carrying around Tappin Santa walked smack into the kitchen table (note, it’s been in the same place since her birth) and BAM Tappin Santa hit the ground. He sprung from his foundation and hit the side of the dome. He was completely disconnected from the base. As quickly as that happened her bottom lip protruded, her eyes filled and she said “fix happy Santa Mom, fix happy Santa” as she started to cry. When I realized I couldn’t fix it I told her he was broken and she did what every smart kid does and went to Dad. (thankfully not to discredit me, he could not fix Tappin’ Santa either)

FLASH FORWARD to this morning. Our babysitter called in and said she couldn’t help out this morning because her family needed to put their dog down today. Ugh. It seems to be a trend these days among family and friends and I dread the day it happens here so I get it. I call my Mom, thankfully she can take Shea so Caitlin can have the day with her family. I drop Kate at school and decided to hit the Hallmark store to get Caitlin a little something. I thought while I was there I would get Shea a new Tappin’ Santa. I walked in just as they opened and I was greeted by two women that had just opened the doors. They were chatting with one another and I went right to the Willow Tree figures to see if they had a dog/girl keepsake box. They didn’t have the box but had the tile so I began speaking with the two women about the box – one of them checked in the back to see if they had one. Nope, they didn’t. They offered to special order and I mention that the dog was being put down today so I wanted to get it now. I bought the tile instead.

I then asked the women about Tappin’ Santa. No, she said, this year it’s the Snowman Band. She brought me over to see a similar set-up as last year’s Tappin’ Santa and friends but no dome over their head (now you know from above this would last for 30 seconds in Shea’s hands without a dome over the snowman’s head for protection – think of it like a bike helmet for toys). I contemplated the snowman band while the women and I chatted. I told them I was bummed since my 3-year old (3 and 2 days to be exact) dropped hers on the floor and was devastated. I had thought it would be easy to replace. She assured me I would be able to find one somewhere, just not in a Hallmark store since the Snowman Band was in town. (okay, I added the in town part there, she didn’t say that) I looked around the store and found a card for Caitlin and some 50% off ornaments for the kids. (Note to reader: bought Shea a princess, she is already missing a foot because Shea dropped her immediately after she came out of the box.) As I checked out, I am tried to decide on the Snowman Band, I asked “Pam” the woman at the counter if I could save my receipt and come back for the Snowman Band (minimum purchase required) – she said, no you must buy it at the time of purchase. Oh. Hmmm. Can I buy it and return it if I find a Tappin’ Santa? Sure, I don’t see why not. Shortly after she said “You really want a Tappin’ Santa hunh?” Yes, I do. She continued to cash me out.

She then said “I have a Tappin’ Santa at home and I will bring it in for you – it will be here tomorrow”

You don’t have to do that.

“I want to give it to your daughter.”

Really? That is so nice. I would be happy to pay you.

“No, I don’t want any money, that’s okay. I have two of them and I will bring you one. It will be behind the counter for you tomorrow.”

Wow. Thank you very much. She is now wrapping Caitlin’s Willow Tree when I say: Why do you have two Tappin’ Santas?

“That’s a long story.”

Oh, okay. I now mind my business and just wait for my packages in silence…. then she begins…

I had a Tappin’ Santa that was on display here. He would just tap without pushing the button. He would randomly dance all the time. I brought him home. When I put him in the basement with the Christmas stuff my husband and I would hear him randomly begin to dance. He would be on the shelf at Christmas time and would just start dancing. All over the house we could hear him dancing on his own without anyone in the room. He just danced and danced. When I left for the holiday she (and points to the woman in the back that had helped me earlier) wrapped up a new Tappin’ Santa for me – one that didn’t randomly dance. So, I have two.

On Christmas Day last year my husband had a heart attack. He was in the hospital for a month. He was in ICU for two weeks until he was strong enough to have bypass surgery. Santa never tapped while he was in the hospital. He stopped and I never heard him the whole time my husband was gone. He had bypass surgery and came home a couple weeks later. Then… we heard Santa tap again. So, I will keep my Tappin Crazy Santa and I will give your daughter the one I have in a box.

I stood there with my eyes filled as I listened to her story. It’s crazy and it’s simple but I embraced it in my heart.

I am touched by her crazy Tappin’ Santa and even more touched that she wants to share her second one with Shea. I’m so excited for Shea; she has a story from a stranger that wanted to share part of her own life with Shea – with us. People are good. There are so many good people out there. Sometimes through all the bad that we talk about incessantly as a culture they are difficult to see. But, have faith, because the good people are out there. When you find one in your life grab hold of  them and savor the experience because it restores our faith one another. People have the uncanny ability to inspire people without even trying. When someone does something selfless for you, it feels so good, it makes you want to do something for someone else. It’s a wonderful ripple effect.

I am so excited to bring Shea into the Hallmark store tomorrow. The story epitomizes a Hallmark moment. I wonder if they have a perfect card for this. 🙂 I laughed on the inside knowing that I was in a darn Hallmark store when this became part of my life – how cliche and how wonderful all at the same time!!

We are going to bring a candy cane from Nelson’s Candy store (the BEST homemade traditional candy cane you can imagine) to thank her for her kindness. I am moved, overwhelmed and humbled by my day.


4 thoughts on “Hallmark Moment – For Real

  1. OK…now I’m sitting here welling up. I just love the spirit of Christmas!….and there ARE so many good people out there. Merry Christmas, Betsy!

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