My Sister's Santa

Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.


It's 2:00 AM on Christmas Day: My fourth grade self tumbled out of the warmth of my comforter, stumbling to the closet where I had hoarded gifts for the last seven months. Buried beneath faded bedsheets, I pulled them out: a jar of cookie butter, an enormous pink dolphin, a delicate crystal cat. Dozens upon dozens of candies from Halloween.

Every Christmas since third grade, I was Santa Claus for my sister. My decision was made the moment the magic of Christmas was shattered for me in second grade, when I had only received a Target gift card from “Santa”.

It was only when I was in eleventh grade that I found out my sister had known I was Santa all along. She was initially a person who only liked to receive things, storing away stacks of red envelopes and mounds of stuffed animals in her closet. However, as she saw how I labored to procure gifts for her year after year, she slowly began to give more. She began helping me pick up my neighbor’s dog’s poop, gagging all the while. She began to volunteer to do chores and gave her friends music lessons, boldly declaring to me that she would become an elf to help Santa.

And as my sister’s Santa, I provided more than gifts: I helped guide her as she navigated through the cold snowdrifts...

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