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Day 522: Life after My Camino de Santiago

Updated: Mar 29, 2023

December 23, 2019

Camino Santa

My teammates gave me the Santa Claus you see in this image but customized it so that it is my "Camino Santa." Let me explain the customization:

  1. They created a base and put sunflowers on it. You may recall seeing a lot of sunflowers in photos I shared. They even created the “smiley” sunflower which I encountered on my Camino. The "smiley" sunflower may have been one of the most popular photos I shared. You can see it on my 7/29/18 post. And as I wrote this I just remembered my nickname in high school was “Smiley.”

  2. You can’t see the shoes in this photo but they painted the shoelaces red and black to match the shoes laces of my Camino shoes. As you may recall, my Camino shoelaces are prominently displayed in the shadow box I created.

  3. You may also recall that my Camino shoes developed holes in the soles before I finished. Once I discovered the holes, I used duct tape thereafter to attempt to solve my problem. So they applied duct tape to the heel of this Santa’s shoes to match my shoes.

  4. They created the walking stick and gourd at the top of the stick which were common for early pilgrims on the Camino. Sticks and gourds like this are now common souvenirs on the Camino de Santiago.

  5. There is a compass that is partially hidden by the walking stick that they tied to Santa’s belt. You may recall that my teammates gave me a Tiffany’s compass that I carried on my Camino.

  6. Just as I walked with a backpack and a scallop shell tied to the backpack they tied a scallop shell to back of Santa’s backpack.

  7. In the left pocket of Santa’s coat is a miniaturized version of “my” Pilgrim passport. The pilgrim passport is often the most prized item a pilgrim has from their Camino.

  8. In the right pocket of Santa’s coat is a miniaturized copy of the map of the Camino that you see as the cover photo to this photo album.

  9. They included the dog because there was a photo of me holding a puppy on my Camino on 8/18/18. This dog represents that puppy. And this dog also has a scallop shell tied to its collar.

  10. They included a rock on which they painted the words “Buen Camino.” This is important to me because my favorite and most emotional photo from my Camino is the photo I posted on 8/23/18. That photo included a rock with those words painted on it. My email signature also includes the words “Buen Camino” and a link to a blog that includes that photo. Here is my original email link and an updated email link.

Anyway, my “Camino Santa” is special to me. I am grateful and deeply appreciative for my teammates. Thanks, Tim, Solon, Bonnie, Ben, Cameron, Kent, Olivia, Catherine, Carol, and Pete.

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