Santa Ed Talks About Rita & Nana

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!!) Santa and Nana 4 2012

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. 

Thank you, 

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

4 thoughts on “Santa Ed Talks About Rita & Nana”

  1. Santa Steve Eastis

    Santa Ed 

    You said it right and I got cards from alot of my Mall regulars saying thank you for the little extras I do. 

    Santa Steve Eastis 

    Westfield Topanga, Ca. 

    1. Santa Steve,

      It's wonderful when people take the time to express gratitude.Some of the things that are easy to do are also very easy NOT to do. I'm committing myself to expressing my gratitude more frequently.  

  2. Hi Santa Ed-

    I love this story and am very grateful that you are bringing us all together via your Greatest Gifts. Lifting spirits and just reconnecting with someone you've "lost track of" is so uplifting, and in some cases healing, for both of you.

         I recently lost a good friend, Ken, to suicide. All of his friends were stunned, enormously saddened, and eventually angry that he took himself from us. We all loved him and never saw this coming. Ken's best friend, who he talked every day with for over 3 years, had no idea that our friend was depressed at all. Unfortunately he is the one who found Ken. We all felt guilty that we didn't know, and that we didn't see the signs to help him. His sister was the only one who knew of his depression, and told us that Ken was a master at keeping a happy face. She assurred us that no one could have prevented this from happening, but our loss is so great just the same.

         I don't think that Ken could have predicted the ripple effect that this has taken, even in just my life. My sister and I have started to heal some of the difficulties that our upbringing produced. We have always been close, but the "suddeness" of Ken's death, really focused us on appreciating even more what can be taken away so quickly.

         This year, instead of weeding out friends from my Christmas card list, who hadn't reciprocated, I added them back on from years past. I would assume that they have just been too busy, but I'm not.  I want them to know that they are still in my life….even if I don't hear from them.

         I also phoned a friend that I haven't spoken to in a decade. He's been HIV positive for over 20 years, but he's still alive and doing pretty well. He has now outlived both his grandmother and mother who both lived with him and helped to care for him when he was very ill. We talked for almost 2 hours. Because I have free long distance, and he's on a tight budget, I pledged to call and just say "hi" often. We both felt that joy of bringing life back into a long ago relationship.

         We all are guilty of becoming complacent to being mindful of the "magic in life". It is an invigorating and an enormous gift that we often "forget to open". Thanks Santa Ed, for bringing us back to the best selves we can be.





  3. Leigh,

    I had a similar experience with a man I served on a committee with for several years. It's wonderful that you were able to use that experience to create a positive behaviors in your life. At the time of my friends passing I didn't have the wisdom to use the experience in the way you did. You sharing your experience has reminded me to let events of all kinds have a positive effect on my life. Thank you.

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