December crept up on me with no warning this year. I took it upon myself to decorate the family Christmas tree, but even with the white lights, red ribbon and crystal angels, it just still didn’t feel like Christmas.
A ride with Santa Claus on the Forked River fire truck Wednesday evening snapped me out of the doldrums.
With Santa and his sleigh set on the roof, lights of all colors lit up the truck. Christmas music blared as we turned down Forked River streets, most of which were also lit up with lights and decorations, and I operated the siren to alert residents of Santa’s presence.
Residents of all ages — and their dogs — showed a childlike spirit that night. The smiles, excitement and pride showed on faces of the young and elderly. Children stood along the roads jumping, dancing and waving. Senior citizens gestured through the windows.
The fire truck stopped for each child and the firemen, also known as the elves, jumped off the truck to hand out candy canes.
“It’s a blast. We all love it. It really puts you in the Christmas spirit,” said Jim Granato Jr. of the Forked River Fire Department.
That it did. I returned home feeling like a child waking up on Christmas day after a long night anticipating Santa’s visit, with a sense of unadulterated excitement.
For a schedule of Santa's upcoming visits, click here.