Most of the year, David P. Himes (’70) is a direct marketing executive in Washington, D.C., who runs his own consulting practice and whose resume includes an impressive list of former and current clients – Pier 1 Imports, Procter & Gamble, American Express and Godiva Chocolatier, to name a few.
But come December each year, Himes puts on another hat – and a readily recognizable red suit – to spread Christmas cheer.
In this guest post, which originally appeared on his personal blog, he shares his thoughts about representing Santa and representing Jesus.
A Santa Analogy
When I plan to meet someone at a public place, if they’ve never seen me before, I often tell them I bear a close resemblance to Santa Claus – mainly because of my mostly white hair and white beard – as my picture will attest.
And during the Christmas season, I enjoy filling in for the jolly old elf, in spite of myself.
But there is an interesting analogy between putting on my Santa suit and labeling myself a Christian.
When I put on my Santa suit, I have to always be prepared to represent Santa to children. I can’t be Santa and be a grouch – or a jerk – or be impolite – or short-tempered. I have to be willing to be Santa and everything that goes along with that “stereotype.” If I’m not willing to do that I shouldn’t put on the suit. When anyone sees me, they should say, “There’s Santa!”
And that’s the way it should be as a Christian, as well. If I “put on Christ,” then when anyone sees me, they should say, “That guy is a Christian.”
There are a lot of implications that go along with that. And I’m not saying it’s easy or simple. I’m just saying there is a parallel.
Obviously, it’s easier to put on a suit to then look and act like Santa Claus. One reason it’s easier is because I can take the Santa suit off and people don’t automatically think of me as Santa.
But then the remaining question for both you and me is this: Do people think I do as good a job of representing Jesus, as they think I do representing Santa? Shouldn’t they?
I think the answer to that should be, “yes.”
Himes holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communication from Abilene Christian University. In 1998 he received a Gutenberg award for distinguished professional achievement from ACU’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. Even when he’s not filling in for Santa, he carries his Santa business cards “because I get ‘the look’ from children at every time of year.”