My next thought was it was some sort of diplomat/politician (Obama in the suburbs? Making a quick arugula run, perhaps?). I live within close enough proximity to "The Beltway," that it was a real possibility. Those fat cats (See, I can use that term fast and loose, too) are always zooming about in their tinted-windowed town cars, enjoying the expensive and ridiculous perks of the job, using those HOV lanes at their own whimsy, since, if you count their huge egos, their vehicles, indeed, carry quite a high occupancy.
No such luck. Turns out it was someone even more grand than any politician. Someone alive and well in Fairfax County... it was Santa Claus! My jaw literally dropped as I watched 12 police motorcycles escort a Suburban with Santa peering happily out the window, waving to us all. And if that weren't surreal enough, the Suburban behind dear Santa was carrying Rudolph, the one and only reindeer!
I couldn't help but smile. I would have expected my response to have been more cynical. But it just didn't occur to me to question the expense or the necessity or the appropriateness. It was what I needed to snap me out of my yearly bad mood. And it worked. The mall didn't seem so crowded, the lines didn't seem so long, and even though I didn't find everything I needed, it didn't matter.
Santa was on the scene, spreading his jolliness to all. By God, I was going to let it rub off on me, even if it killed me! But it didn't kill me. Maybe reveling in Christmas cheer isn't as difficult as I always seem to make it.
And if that weren't enough of a Christmas miracle, when I got home, I had a simple, brown package waiting patiently for me on my front porch, courtesy my own, lovely, Secret Santa.