On Wednesday, January 4th 2012 Karla Villatoro, the marketing director at the Century City Mall forwarded an e-mail to David Schienberg, the Creative Director at GT Events in Los Angeles. GT Events had managed the "Free Photos with Santa" promotion for Microsoft that Christmas season. Of course I was one of the Santa's.
After receiving the email from Karla, David looked at the attached photos and forwarded the e-mail on to me.
Here's a copy…
Dear Sir or Madam — I am forwarding a picture taken at the mall on Sunday, December 18, one week before Christmas, with your Santa and my 98 year old mother. This picture shows the joy and fun and laughter that was my mother's trademark and which she had all but lost, except for her time with Santa. My mother died one week later, and I featured the picture of her with Santa at the funeral — because no other picture I could find better reflected the person she had been for most of her life. My daughter had taken her to the mall at her request that day. At the funeral, she told the story of the outing and of my mother's hilarious interactions with the Santa. (She lied to him about her age!!)
I would love this Santa to know how much joy he had brought to this woman, and how special that day was for her. If there is any way you can get in touch with him and share this story with him I would be extremely grateful.. I would love him to know what a difference he made in this little woman's life. Yes, Nana there really IS a Santa Claus. — and how much the picture touched the hearts of everyone who knew my mother and everyone who attended her funeral. The pictures have made the rounds, believe me. My mother even asked to have it put on facebook!!
I can be reached at this email address, or at, AND SHE INCLUDED A PHONE NUMBER I hope you can help me out with this.
I called her immediately. We talked about that day, and about her mom and we laughed until we were in tears.
The message here is not about me- I did what I do. I was fun and jolly and had a great time with Nana, that's what I do, it's who I am.
Rita on the other hand did something outstanding. She took the time to write this letter, this plea really, and she sought out someone to send it to, and her letter found its way to me… and it made my day.
I lifted her moms spirits when she visited me at the mall, Rita lifted my spirits when I received her letter. Both of our spirits were lifted when we talked on the phone.
Lifting spirits is what The Greatest Gifts of All is all about. Our Greatest Gifts help us lift our own spirits and the spirits of others.
Having gratitude is one thing… expressing gratitude is something much richer and something much more profound.
Let's commit to taking the time to express the gratitude we feel in our hearts.
P.S. The e-booklet and first video will be delivered on Valentine's Day. In the tradition of Santa Claus these are real gifts, my presents to you, FREE. There is absolutely no charge.
Please join me, be one of Santa's helpers and spread the word about The-Greatest-Gifts-of-All.com