Appearances can be deceiving. For instance, did you know that Santa Claus rides a Harley? And he doesn’t wear red and white. He wears black and is covered in tattoos.
Or at least he was this past Saturday as dozens of locals riding motorcycles and drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes met at the Desert Elk Lodge for the third annual Biker Clause.
The event is an excuse to hang out with friends and get in one more ride before the weather goes from chilly to down right cold. But it’s also a chance to make little kids smile.
Along with the fun of riding and swapping stories, the bikers bring new toys to donate to charity so needy children won’t have an empty Christmas.
In previous years, the group met in December, but poor weather often made it difficult to ride. The first year, there were just 12 riders. But they were able to help about 400 children. This year they expected about 40 riders.
The Desert Elk Lodge joins in the spirit of giving by donating their hall for the group to gather toys.
The charities have varied but this year, Catholic Social Services approached organizer Karri Matlow for assistance.
The organization is a family service agency that helps individuals and families and advocates for persons in need, regardless of background, throughout their entire life.
Matlow said the toys they’ve collected would most likely go to foster children. In the first year, the riders would deliver toys personally while on their bikes. It was a thrill for the givers and the receivers.
Last year, the kids came to them. The real Santa Claus showed up at the lodge and entertained the children of all ages.
Santa Claus can come in many shapes and colors. But the one constant is the spirit of selflessness that flows out from those whose heart is the biggest muscle in their body.
There are still 72 shopping days left to write up your wish list. But it is never too early to start thinking about what others need.