By Joe McKenzie ι Dec. 12, 2013

It’s often the small things in our lives, like safety pins, that help us hold it all together.

Recently, I was organizing a Santa outfit and laid it all out to be sure I had everything. I’ve Santadone this before, and I’ve also just grabbed everything and started dressing. You would think I could never forget the pillow, but one time I did. I’ve also broke a shoe lace and had my belt slip down. So, I checked it off: fake boot uppers, wild white wig, large jacket for extra bulk under the red Santa jacket, petite white gloves, hat. I love the hat, even if it has a pom-pom. But, with this particular costume, there is a small gap on the jacket below the top button. It’s hidden under the beard, but it bothers me. There should be a button there, but there’s not. So, I need a safety pin.

I do not think I own a safety pin and always forget to ask Mrs. Claus. She’s usually busy making the world a better place in her own magical ways. And, that’s an important job that doesn’t even require reindeer. But, this is about having everything I need, but a simple pin.

Before I could panic and place a frantic call to the North Pole, or hop in the car and drive 10 minutes, I opened a desk drawer. And, there it was. Just what I needed. I don’t know where it came from. It’s not the pin I used in the past. It’s better. I didn’t recall that some pins have a white plastic end. This is a strong, dependable pin. I probably used something like this changing hundreds of diapers, but that was long ago. Finding this pin so quickly made it seem like the universe just provided it for me, or maybe, for Santa.

And the whole Santa thing, of course, is about other small things, the children. And, even better than a safety pin, a child’s excited smile and willingness to believe really does help us all hold it together.

Joe McKenzie


Joe McKenzie is the director of the library.