In a small story of holiday coincidence, a man discovered that his old childhood photo actually had his father-in-law in it.
As a young teen, Chris Burd had an old photo of him sitting on Santa’s lap. 13 years after the photo was taken, he realized in surprise that “Santa” is actually his father-in-law.
Chris and Liz Burd got engaged last December. As a gift to the couple, Chris’ mom, Charlene Burd decided to create a holiday scrapbook with Chris’ old holiday photos. It was then that she discovered someone familiar in one of his old photos.
“My mom was going through old photos and said she thinks one of my old Santa pictures was me sitting on my fiancé’s dad’s lap,” Chris recalled. “And I just told her she’s nuts. So later in the week I went over to the house and saw it and decided it wasn’t him. But later on, I took a closer look and was like, ‘Oh my God. That’s Liz’s dad.”
Elmer Abbas (aka Santa and Chris’s father-in-law) has been showing off his full white beard and dressing up as Santa for over 20 years. And as fate may have it, he dressed up as Santa in 1998 at Maplewood Mall in Minn.
“That was the first year that I convinced my family that enough kids had told me I looked like Santa so I could get a job at the mall,” Abbas said.
During that same time, 13-year-old Chris decided to take his 3-year-old sister and take a photo with Santa in the same mall.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
“It was just really kind of a strange feeling. I have met him so many times, and then just seeing him in the picture, to realize I had met him 13 years before was definitely weird,” Chris said.
And what does Santa think of the coincidence? “It was fun to tease my future son-in-law about sitting in his father-in-law’s lap. And I think I probably made up a couple of stories about what he wanted for Christmas,” Abbas said.
“He says he remembered a little boy asking for a beautiful wife,” Chris quipped. “People were amazed how messed up it was. My groomsman said he was so creeped out by it, but thought it was hilarious. He said it was fate. I had no choice but to marry that girl.”