Heart of the Servant Santa

Heart of the Servant Santa

Mrs. Claus’ eyes were full of tears by the time I arrived at the hospital. Santa stood there stunned, as if hit with unbelievable news. “What is it?” I asked. Ryan had just hours to live. Santa and Mrs. Claus had met the boy just months previous but it was only within the past few days that things seriously took a decline and hope was lost. These are the calls Santa hates to take. How do you present the hope and love and brightness of Santa Claus to a dying child? “Why am I here?” I asked, nearly sucking in my breath at the bad news they shared. “How can I help?” Santa looked at me. “I need advice” heRead more

Secrets of the Servant Santa

Secrets of the Servant Santa

“I recognize that suit,” I said nonchalantly at the dry cleaner as I was doing business. There, on a hanger and freshly bagged, was Santa’s suit. Her eye brows lowered and she looked at me suspiciously. “How do you know that suit?” she asked. “Well it belongs to Santa,” I said. “Everyone knows that.” She relaxed a bit and smiled. “But not everyone knows this Santa,” she sighed. “Well I do,” I said. She put down her pen. She stared at me. “C’mere,” she said, pointing for me to follow her to an office. “You know who Santa is?” she asked. “Who told you?” “He did,” I replied innocently. “We’ve been meeting for a while.” I handed her my cardRead more

The Servant Santa on Parade

The Servant Santa on Parade

He looked so strange to me. It was the first time I had seen Santa wearing something other than his Santa suit. He was speaking before the Chamber of Commerce, one of those networking functions you always hate to go to. His comments were brief, conservative and frankly kind of bland. Here I was seeing Santa in the real world for the first time. I wasn’t convinced I was witnessing the same person. We met later at his office, a very casual almost messy kind of place. His desk was large but looked like it came from Ikea. A small table behind it was covered with more pictures than could be looked at while a mounted elk jutted out fromRead more

Walkabout with the Servant Santa

Walkabout with the Servant Santa

He won’t let me tell you his name. In fact, he doesn’t go by anything but Santa. Most Santa portrayers I have met like to be called Santa James or Santa Smith – some combination of their real first or last names or even the names of the places where they live. But not this Santa. In fact, it took me a week to even learn what his real name is. He invited me to come back the next day to talk. He was scheduled again to work the cottage in the evening hours but he was coming to town around at about 2pm to do a “walkabout”. I had never heard of that before and asked him what heRead more

Discovering the Servant Santa

Discovering the Servant Santa

I was on my way home by way of country roads, having escaped the interstate on a busy Friday afternoon about a week before Christmas. As I came through the small pass on the two lane road I saw a vehicle coming from the other direction. As it was heading west I could see clearly inside the car – it was Santa Claus, driving a small pickup. I smiled to myself, rolled down the window and waved. Santa waved back. It was great Christmas moment, one that filled me with good cheer. Four days later I found myself driving that same road, this time in a snowstorm. The conditions were pretty bad and the going was slow. I saw flashersRead more

What You Don’t Know About Being Santa

What You Don’t Know About Being Santa

St. Nicholas Day comes and goes every December 6th with little notice. It is a shame that the Christmas season does not do more to honor the man who is the basis for Santa Claus. Once upon a time St. Nicholas was one of the most famous and revered people in the world. He did not become that way because he wildly gave gifts or bestowed upon people their every desire. Nicholas was far removed from the modern image of Santa, a character so abused by marketers and Hollywood he actually numbers as many enemies as friends. St. Nicholas was never a man who sought out the spotlight or wanted the attention. What makes that such a sad statement isRead more

Perils of Playing Santa

Perils of Playing Santa

The cat-and-mouse game of hiding the Christmas presents begins as soon as a black Friday bargain is found. Whether you are hiding gifts from your significant other or your children the game can be intense. Take, for example, the year of the drum set. My then 10-year old son had his heart set on a drum set for Christmas. It was out of our realm of possibility until about two days before Christmas when a moving neighbor had to off-load his five-drum set due to a sudden move. The price was right but how to hide it for Christmas morning? Fortunately we had an easy answer. Parked on our driveway as a long travel trailer belonging to my sister andRead more

Christmas in a Political Year

Christmas in a Political Year

I recently engaged in conversation with one of our international members who observed, “You Americans ruin Christmas every four years”. Her reference, of course, was to the rancor of this particular election and how divisive it has been for everyone – even those out of the country. I had to laugh but she had a point. It does seem that the conversation shifts greatly around the cycles of American politics. The thought caused me to look through the numbers. We are not a for-profit venture and frankly we do not usually much care for the business of visitor statistics. But we have been around for better than two decades now and I was curious to see if our site trafficRead more

It’s August and Okay to Think Christmas

It’s August and Okay to Think Christmas

Today is the opening of Christmas Creep Season. It happens the first of August every year when the media suddenly discovers the presence of – gasp! – Christmas items in stores. They complain about it endlessly claiming Christmas comes earlier and earlier every year. But let’s get one thing straight right now: it’s August and it is okay to think Christmas. Like all things in popular culture Christmas has changed in many ways thanks to technology and the shifting make up of families. Christmas is still celebrated and forever will be. But how it is done and when it is done will always be changing. For example, if your Christmas means bringing family together from long distances now is theRead more

Tips to Prepare for Christmas Card Sending

Tips to Prepare for Christmas Card Sending

It is our tradition to announce and open our annual Christmas card exchange during our Christmas-in-July festivities each year. In advance of that we thought it best to share with you some tips for preparing for the sending and receiving of approximately 100 cards from around the world as part of the exchange. Many of us have done this now for over a decade. In a time where the world has seen a decline in the practice of sending cards we have merrily clung to the tradition for many reasons. For many of us the joy of receiving this mail throughout the season far outweighs the efforts to participate. We take great joy in holding in our hands something thatRead more

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