Boston, MA Christmas Day, 2012 10am He knocks on the bathroom door, "Room service is here. Come out and eat before it gets cold."
When she opens the door he is seated at the table. He looks up and smiles at her. His full lips and perfectly white teeth, although almost hidden by the massive, mostly-white and extremely, natural-looking beard, look even more sumptuous than they did at the mall. He is nude from the waist up. Although retired from the Army, he remains well-muscled. As she approaches the table, he stands handing her a flute of champagne. As she takes the glass he raises his glass and they lightly tap them together. "Merry Christmas, Santa," she said. "I feel happier than I have felt in years. Thank you for finally choosing me. I know it's been hard since your divorce; I've feared you would stay shut-down...not even give us a chance..."
"When you talked me into growing this beard so I could play Santa I honestly thought you were crazy. All those months of growing this beard then traveling to follow you and talking those people at the mall into letting me play Santa at the last minute was pure lunacy, and it worked! It was good for me, the planning, the anticipation, the belief in Christmas and to be a kid again then to see how excited all the little kids were; to see families together enjoying each other. To see that even with heartbreak life goes on. To play Santa at that mall hoping you'd play your part and show up was scary. What if you didn't show up? I was surprised; you had never told me how you felt, what you wanted deep down and I never expected you would ask for me for Christmas. No one has ever asked me to be their gift," he said.