Wearing Christmas hats in December has always been a tradition in my family. But probably not for the reasons you might think.
Suddenly since I’ve gotten my Christmas hat out of storage I’ve become the most popular person on the block. The other day I was walking to choir and three strangers stopped and talked to me. One asked if I could give them any food. One asked where they could buy a hat like mine. And one asked if they could take my photo. The older people are most intrigued by my hat. They stop and stare and wish me merry Christmas. They have absolutely no idea that they are playing into my game. With this conversation starter I often get the comment, “It’s not Christmas yet, aren’t you early?” To which I can promptly reply, “Actually Saint Nicholas is the 6th of December and Christmas is coming soon. Do you know who Saint Nicholas is?” Of course not, so I continue, “He was a great man who was so touched by the life and teachings of Jesus that he decided to give all he had to the poor.” Which is actually a horrendous simplification of reality, but hey, when you only have one sentence with which to spread the virtues of Jesus, I don’t mind taking the liberty.
Hearing the name of Jesus in a spontaneous conversation with strangers is not a very regular occurrence for the average Parisian. May this little light shine brightly.
We are already known by our immediate neighbors as the couple that almost lost their cat. Now when I wear my hat the deli-man next door is my best friend. He always greets me with a big smile and wishes me a good day. It’s kinda fun.