Friday, December 30, 2011

Santa for Winder Farms

This year I was able to be Santa for Winder Farms (formerly Winder Dairy).   I was at their country store every Thursday night for pictures with those that came to see the lights and to get scones and hot cocoa.  It's a Christmas tradition for many in the area.

I love that they put me right across from the front door, so people can see me before they even came into the store.  I loved watching their faces as the see me as Santa sitting there.  The first couple of Thursdays were just regular traffic, people coming to the store.  But as word got out about the lights and Santa being there, there were lines out the door of people waiting to visit with Santa.

Kent Winder was so impressed and so happy with the turnout that he has already hired me to come back again next December on Thursday nights from 6-8 p.m.  It's a fun activity - plan to bring your family next year to see the lights, get pictures with Santa (bring your own camera), and enjoy scones and hot cocoa while you're there.

Check out Utah Momma's blog for a picture at  For more information on Winder Farms, see

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Being Santa

Playing Santa has taken up a lot of my weekends this month, but I have had some fun experiences being Santa so far.

I was Santa for a church/neighborhood party and a little girl, 5 years old, climbed up in my lap with about 8 pieces of paper stapled together like a book.  She had gone through the Sunday paper and cut out pictures of the things she wanted for Christmas and glued them into her book.  Under each item she had written the store where I could find each item and their prices.  She then told me why she had chosen each item and the store, because she had compared prices and found the best deal for me.  How thoughtful!

My heart was truly touched on another night last week.  I was hired to come to a trailer park's club house for their trailer park's Christmas party.  A 10 year old girl sat on my knee and I asked her what she wanted for Christmas.  She was quiet for a moment and then her eyes started to get teary.  She said, "I don't want anything for my, Santa.  But I want to make sure that my 5 year old niece has a Merry Christmas.  Her dad lost his job and they are having a hard time right now."  After swallowing the lump in my throat, I told her how proud I was of her, that she knew the true meaning of Christmas - that's it's not about what we get, but what we are willing to give to those we love.  She truly cared about others more than herself.  With tears rolling down her cheeks yet a smile on her face, I told her I was sure this would be a Christmas she would never forget.

I learned a new way to get the kids who are too shy or nervous to come sit on my knee for pictures.  I have a strap of leather with six large bells on it, which I have in my bag so I jingle as I enter a room.  It's a great attention grabber!  Well, as I was handing out presents at a family party, there was one little girl that was very nervous and didn't want to come see me.  As I got to the last few presents, I took the strap of bells out of the bag and set them aside while I searched for the last presents.  When she saw those bells and was instantly entranced.  I picked up the bells and jingled them and told her they were Rudolf's bells and held them out towards her and asked if she would like to jingle them.  She came right up and took the bells and shook them for all she was worth.  I told her she did it so well that she could be one of my reindeer.  I picked her up and put her on my knee and suddenly she was my best friend, telling me all about what she wanted for Christmas and even smiled for pictures.  I use my bells a lot now to entice frightened children to come see me and get their picture taken!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Santa Claus for the Holidays

About 5 years ago in December I got a phone call asking if I would come to Park City to do a show for kids for about four hours.  My magic show was only about a half an hour, and I wondered what on earth I was going to do for that long.  Then the lady who called me said I could pick up "the suit" from her husband.  Curiously, I asked her what "suit" she was talking about.  She said it was the Santa suit.  I just about told her that I didn't play Santa, but then she said it would pay $500.  I thought for about two seconds before I agreed and asked for the address.

That's how I got into playing Santa Claus in addition to being a magician.  My wife got to work immediately making me a beautiful crushed velvet and fur suit which I have used ever since.

This year I have had 4 shows already and it's only December 3rd.  I love to play Santa and watch the children as their eyes light up when I arrive.  I love answering all of their questions.  I especially love having my picture taken as Santa with kids of all ages on my knee.

Today I did two shows, one was for Cactus and Tropics in Holladay, Utah.  This is my second year with them.  They have a professional photographer who has taken some fabulous photos.  This one with me and the baby is my favorite.  Parents with babies just love this pose.

Also, this afternoon I had a show for an Engineering Firm (Bowen, Collins & Associates in Draper, Utah) that my friend and fellow magician, Dale Winger works for and referred me (thanks Dale).

It was their company party and they had lots of little kids come tell me what they want for Christmas.  One little girl had actually cut out pictures from the Sunday ads of the things she wanted for Christmas.  She had glued them onto papers and stapled together into a book so she could show me exactly what to get her and where I could buy them!

Another little boy was disappointed that I hadn't already gotten his letter and memorized what he wanted for Christmas.  Kids are funny!

Magical Bunnies

As a magician, I use bunnies in my magic shows.  The first bunny I got was a black mini-rex I named Puff.  He was a great first bunny, he learned very quickly how to lay in a magic prop and stay still until I produced him.  When I would open the box, he would pop right up and all the kids in the audience would squeal with delight.  Puff worked with me for about four years until he got sick earlier this year with a double ear infection from which he didn't recover.

The bunny I'm using right now in my shows is a carmel colored part mini-rex I call Bobo (named after a famous magician).  He is about three years old and has been working with me during the last two summers.  Puff got the summers off because he would get too hot - being all black.  Bobo is very gentle and well behaved bunny. He loves to be pet by children after magic shows. His favorite treat is bananas.

I just got a new baby bunny to replace Puff.  A magician should always have a back up bunny in case one gets sick or is having a bad day.  My new bunny is part mini-rex and part lion head.  He is white with grey ears and nose and feet.  I've decided to name him Jasper (again naming him after another famous magician).

Jasper is only two months only and so far seems to be quite an affectionate bunny.  He loves to lick me when I hold him.  I hope that he will be as good a performer as Puff was.