It’s been 20 years since I started wearing a Santa cap during the holiday season. On Thanksgiving night I’d remove my Turkey hat, though some who know me well say I’m a turkey all year round. Donning my red cap, I’d come to life…much like Frosty the Snowman.
That cap always instills the spirit of the holidays in me. I don’t recall how it all got started, but somewhere along the line this headwear found me. It wasn’t one of those cheap felt things you find at the Dollar Store, but was well-made of great fluffy material.
And it was SO very warm!
Of course, ramp work is incredibly demanding, forcing me to remove or replace my furry chapeau soon into the actual loading or unloading of an aircraft. Constantly putting it on and taking it off meant a steady accumulation of dirt, filth, and grease on my favorite holiday headgear.
But you get what you pay for, and quality is something one should never skimp on. So that hat was washed repeatedly and was constructed so well that, over the course of its career, it has fared better than I have.
I’ve never had the waistline to be the REAL Santa, though I do aspire to be one of his faithful elves. Working with hundreds of other ramp agents handling uncountable thousands of packages at this time of year reminds me that we’re responsible for the overwhelming percentage of what Santa takes down the chimney each December.
I wonder if his back hurts as much as mine does…
There has always been a kind of magic in that old red and white cap, as it’s opened many doors for me to get involved in community activities. We’ve rung the Salvation army bell together, and created too many floats to count for the Landlubbers Christmas Parade that delivers Santa (via Firetruck). And when he arrives and local children get to sit on his lap, give him their wish list and get a bag of candy, that hat and I have always been in the background taking pictures and helping things go smoothly.
The two of us have attended multiple Christmas Boat parades, and joined together to distribute gift cards from The Giving Tree to less-fortunate families. And we’ve marshalled in aircraft filled with boisterous family and friends intent on celebrating the holidays here in our little corner of the world. Then we’d push back and de-ice that same aircraft to enable locals to fly to warmer climes.
Sadly, it’s time to retire that old hat from active use, and this time of year makes me nostalgic. It’s wearing out, and I’ll keep it closer to home lest my old friend get damaged. Still, I’m looking forward to putting it on and getting a healthy dose of the magic of the holiday season.
As we hurtle towards year-end, I hope for you and yours the happiness that comes from the holidays, family, friendship, peace, and love. Remember that Santa has countless helpers at every turn, and those ramp agents, counter agents, flight attendants, pilots, security vendors, custodians and innumerable others are working hard to ensure you don’t have to worry about a thing.
They’re all going above and beyond to get you to wherever you need to be – on time, and safely. And they’re working hard to get those packages down the chimney and under the tree.
Please be kind to them all in return.
And, with all that said, let me wish you the joy of the holidays. Because if you’ve been especially good this year, perhaps Santa will leave you a special hat of your own.
Happy Holidays from all of us here at Ramper Innovations!