Ed Witzke, who resides in Vernon, worked as a mall Santa in the Lower Mainland for 50 years. (Ed Witzke)

Ed Witzke, who resides in Vernon, worked as a mall Santa in the Lower Mainland for 50 years. (Ed Witzke)

Working as mall Santa opens doors to magic

50 years wearing the red suit has given Ed Witzke an interesting outlook on life

I was a shopping mall Santa Claus for 50 years in the Lower Mainland. When asked, I still play my craft at private functions. Here is my interpretation of my career:

As a Santa, it fascinates me and gives insight as to who people really are. You learn of impactful lessons on how people overcome obstacles, find clarity in chaos and manage tough emotions with words.

Most see inspiration in everything and are thankful for everything that fuelled the trivial ins-and-outs in navigating the challenges of everyday and smallest details in life.

Santa Clausing exposes you to a side of people that are often hidden and mysterious — a part of intellectual life that is beautiful, very outgoing and ferociously smart.

You hear the deep sea captain telling you how he steers his ship in uncharted waters with strong head winds.

The young children telling you about their dreams and the magic you, as a Santa, hold.

The veterinarian who speaks to you about how he has brought helpless animals back to life.

Old Testament scholars share with you decades of old prophecy filled with hopes, faith, blessings and spiritually-grasping happiness with hearts and souls full of love.

The most exciting, the most pleasurable thing about this is that these stories are utterly serious, utterly real, utterly personal and yet stunningly true. It is very touching. As a Santa Claus, you need to look like the world you serve and that is everybody and everything in it.

Ed Witzke, who resides in Vernon, worked as a mall Santa for 50 years in B.C.