Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Santa's Not a Doctor

Tonight as Santa at a library, I met a very sad little girl.  She came up to visit with me and I saw that she had a brand new bright yellow cast from her wrist all the way up her arm.  I carefully lifted her up to my knee and asked her what had happened.  Her eyes welled up with tears as she told me how she had fallen down the stairs and had broken her arm just before Christmas, and how much it hurt.

I told her how sorry I was that this had happened, and that Santa couldn't fix her arm.  But I told her I would bring her something special on Christmas morning that would make her happy.  I asked if there was anything else I could do for her, and she lowered her head for a moment the looked up into my eyes and said quickly, "I know!"

She carefully got down off my knee and walked away.  I continued visiting with the other children in line and having pictures taken.  After a while, I saw the little girl with the cast at the back of the line.  When it was finally her turn again, she marched up to me and handed me a sharpie marker.  She held up her cast and pointed to a specific spot and said, "Here, this will make it feel better."  So I was the first person to sign her cast - I signed "Santa" and "Ho, ho, ho."

Satisfied, she smiled and gave me the biggest one armed hug I have ever received.  She went over to show her mother, saying, "See, he signed it with a ho, ho, ho."  I was delighted to help replace a tear with a smile on a little girl's face.

Santa may not be able to mend broken bones, but it's great when I can help lift a little child's spirits.

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Gift for Santa

Sometimes it's better to receive than to give.  Yes, I said what I meant.

It is very important as Santa Claus to have fresh breath.  I usually have small mints with me at all times for just that reason.  Tonight as I was getting out a mint before my Santa appearance, I spilled them all over the parking lot - all but one small mint, thankfully.

On my way home after the party, I decided to stop at a 7-11 to pick up some more mints (besides I have a blast showing up unexpectedly in my Santa garb - I love the looks I get and the excitement of the surprised people around me, especially children).  I parked and reached for my wallet, then remembered that I had forgotten it at home.  I checked the payment I had just received for my Santa appearance, and the smallest bill was a $50.

I went in and grabbed 3 boxes of mini mints and went up to pay.  When it was my turn, the clerk rang it up and told me it was $6, and I handed him my $50.  His face fell, and he told me that a previous customer had paid with a $100 bill which cleaned him out of his small change.  I smiled and said, "never mind."  He smiled and said he hoped that wouldn't put him on the naughty list.

I turned to put the mints back when I felt a hand on my shoulder and heard a voice behind me say, "Just a minute Santa."  Then a very kind man put $6 plus tax on the counter and said the mints were on him.  I was about to tell him not to worry about it, but then a little voice inside my head said, "it's better to give than to receive," and I realized that this man was feeling the Christmas Spirit of giving by buying Santa some mints.  Then I decided that I needed to be gracious and accept this gift.  So I thanked him heartily and wished him a Merry Christmas.

Sometimes even Santa can receive.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The True Spirit of Christmas

Being Santa Claus, sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the commercialism of Christmas.  I watch the toy ads so I know what the children are talking about when they ask for the newest and latest for Christmas.

Tonight I was Winder Dairy's Santa again (every Thursday 'til Christmas), and something happened to remind me of the true spirit of Christmas.

For most of the night I had been discussing dolls and ipods and legos and was thinking about all the cool gadgets children had wished for, when a young man in a wheelchair came into the room pushed by his sister because he couldn't push himself.

They went to a table near me where his mother fed him a scone and helped him drink.  He looked over and waved at me with one of his twisted arms, and I smiled and waved back with a hearty "Ho, Ho, Ho!"

Just before my time there was over, his mother brought him over in his wheelchair and backed it as close to my chair as she could so she could take a picture.  I leaned over and smiled as our picture was taken.  Then his mom moved his chair around so we were face to face and he could talk to me.  I realized that though his body was twisted and disabled, his mind was sharp and he could communicate just fine.

I asked the boy what he wanted for Christmas, half expecting something like a new wheelchair or even to be able to walk.  I was not prepared at all for his answer.  He looked up at me and said he didn't need anything, he was happy and had everything he needed.  What he wanted was for me to give his gifts to those in need.  In disbelief, I asked again if there wasn't something that he would like.  Again he just asked me to give something to those who really needed it.

It's humbling to be Santa.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Storytime with Santa

Today I was Santa for West Valley Library.  They had a very nice chair and backdrop in a room where they let one child or family in at a time to see me.  After I had visited with several children, they opened the door and a little boy ran in and climbed into my lap and snuggled right up against me.  I asked what he wanted for Christmas, but he didn't say anything.  I talked to him a little bit, and to his mom and she told me what he wanted while he just snuggled.

Later, when there were no more children to visit with, my little friend came running back into the room with a book in hand.  He hopped up on my lap and handed me the book and looked up at me obviously waiting for me to start reading, so I did.  When I was finished, he took the book, jumped down and ran back out of the room.

Just a minute later his mother came into the room and asked me if I had seen him.  Before I could even tell her what happened, he came running back into the room with another book and climbed back up on my knee.  So I started reading another book to him.

The mother though it was so adorable that her son was getting a story read to him by Santa Claus, she stood transfixed.  I took the opportunity to mention to her she might want to get her camera as this was a perfect photo op.  She snapped out of it, grabbed her camera and took a bunch of pictures as I read the second book.

He got a third book which I also read, then tried to get another, but his mother intervened and took my little friend home, much to his displeasure.  By the way, he had great taste in books - they were all Christmas stories.

It's fun being Santa!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Santa Can be Overwhelming

Being Santa, I am able to be part of many different events at many venues.  I've been Santa at Libraries, Day Care Centers, office parties, and many private and family parties.  But the one I enjoy the most is when I get to be Santa for my own church Christmas party.

I was a little bit concerned that the children in the ward would recognize my voice and figure out who I was.  One of the young girls, after sitting on my lap said, "Santa, you sound like Brother White."  I told her that I knew him and that I had brought him some of his magic tricks for Christmas over the years, then quickly diverted her attention to what she wanted me to bring her this year.

One of the highlights of the evening was when I heard a squeal from the doorway.  When I looked over, I saw a little girl I recognized who was jumping up and down, she was so excited.  Her parents had to restrain her so she didn't push past other children to get to me.  While they were waiting, she bounced with excitement and recited her wish list to anyone who would listen.  When it was her turn, she ran up and jumped on my knee and told me me to look at her mom who was going to take a picture of us.  After the picture, I asked her what she wanted for Christmas, and as sometimes happens, she stared at me and said nothing.  She had gone completely blank, and it took her mother reminding her of a couple of items to snap her out of it and then she rattled her list of for at least a whole minute.

Sometimes its "awe"-some being Santa!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Santa for Winder Dairy

Last night was my opportunity to be Santa for Winder Country Farms (formerly Winder Dairy). This is something I did last year and they asked me to come back again this year.  I will be there each Thursday night from 6 to 8 p.m.  People can bring their kids to visit me and can take pictures.

It's kind of funny that I have become Winder Dairy's Santa, because I used to work for them many years ago as a milkman.  The new generation of Winders don't know that though.

Winder Country Farms has a store where they sell their milk and other dairy products - and the best eggnog this Santa has ever tasted.  They also sell breads, and right now they sell hot cocoa and freshly made scones among other treats.  I was surprised at the traffic for this little out of the way specialty store, but there was an almost constant flow of visitors.

I was surprised when some of my family started to arrive.  Two of my sister's-in-law brought their babies to see "Santa" for the first time.  My little nephew was thrilled to visit with me and soon took possession of me - I was HIS Santa and he didn't really want to let any other kids sit on my knee.  He did though, but came back three more times.  My brother said that all night and the next day all he would talk about was HIS Santa.

My daughter and my niece also came to visit and my niece brought her new "baby" to visit with Santa.  That's the first time I have had my picture taken with a puppy!

My mother also visited and I got her to sit with me for a picture.  She is delighted to be the "mother of Santa."

It's great to be Santa for your own family!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Santa for Magna Library

The Librarian at Magna Library had put a long curving line of tape on the floor for people to follow and wait in to see Santa.  It kind of reminded me of the queue lines at Disneyland.  Everyone was very cooperative and orderly.  In the 45 minutes that I was there, about 100 children came through the line and sat on my knee.  There were only a few that were frightened, but I got them intrigued by ringing my bells and letting them hold and shake them.  Works every time!

The most common requests for Christmas from the kids that visited me tonight were iPod Touches and Xbox 360s. There were also a lot of lap top computer requests.

The highlight of the night was close to the end of the line, when a child had just jumped down off my knee and this little 4 year old girl was told it was her turn.  She sprinted towards me launching herself into the air flying towards me and landing in my lap flinging her arms around my neck.  Good thing she was such a little thing or she could have knocked me right over!  She repeated over and over, "You came, you came, you came!"  To which I replied, "I've been waiting for you to come see me."  She replied matter-of-factly, "I know."  She hugged me tightly for a full minute - I couldn't have pried her off with a crowbar.

Finally she sat on my knee, swinging her legs and said, "You got my list, right?"  I told her of course I did, but asked her to remind me what was on it.  But all she would say was, "just the stuff on the list."  She gave me a quick hug then jumped down, grabbed her candy cane and disappeared into another part of the library.

It's good to be Santa!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Santa Baby!

One of my favorite things to do as Santa is to be asked to be at a family party when a couple is going to announce the news that they are expecting.

Last night, was once such moment.  The excited mother called to schedule the Santa appearance and we discussed the options of what we could do to announce her pregnancy.  We agreed that I would hand out all the presents to the kids, then would pull out of my bag a baby rattle with a big red bow on it and give it to the expectant parents.  Everyone would go crazy as they figured out the news!

She called the night before to change the plan, however.  I arrived and did the usual round of pictures and videos, then started to hand out all the gifts to the kids.  The adults weren't paying much attention to me, but after I finished with the gifts, I stood up and jingled my bells and called for everyone's attention.  I told them I had one more very special gift to give and called up the expectant parents.

From behind the sofa they pulled out a large red and green storage container with a large bow on it.  They pulled off the bow, lifted the lid and let out three helium mylar balloons that said "Congratulations" and "It's a Baby!"

The room erupted in cheers and applause, and I was pushed to the background as everyone surrounded the couple with hugs and congratulations.  While this was going on, one little girl climbed up into my lap and asked me to read her the story book she had just received.  I started reading "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" to her.  Soon most of the other children came and sat around me to listen to the story.  Turns out, that was a perfect photo op for the grandmother - all her grandchildren around Santa.

Isn't being Santa great?

Welcome Back Santa

Last night I did my first two appearances as Santa for this year.  After the first show, I had some time before my next show, and rather than going home, changing then changing back, I called my friend to see if his grandkids were there.  I thought I would drop by as Santa and surprise them.  Unfortunately they weren't visiting him that night, but his wife told me that they had some new neighbors that had moved in next door.  It was a single mother with four young children whom she hadn't met yet, but thought it would great if I stopped by and surprised them.

I went to the house and the youngest girl opened the door then quickly closed it again with a squeal (that happens a lot).  I heard several "No way!"s through the door, then the mother opened the door and invited me in.  I had each child sit on my knee to tell me what they wanted for Christmas, and they immediately went blank (that happens a lot too).  But the oldest sister knew exactly what she wanted - Justin Bieber!  I told her I would see what I could do, but I wasn't sure what Selena Gomez would say.  That elicited a round of gags from the other girls.

The girls ran off delighted with their surprise visit from Santa.  The mother got emotional, telling me how hard it was to be newly single with four young children.  I told her that she had four great reasons to be happy this Christmas just before they ran back to give me the pictures they had colored for me.  She wiped her tears, smiled at her girls and thanked me for coming. I wished them a Merry Christmas and left with a very warm heart.

I love being Santa!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Upcoming Santa Appearances

If you would like 
to bring your children 
to see me as Santa, 
I will be appearing at several 
libraries around the valley 
where you can see me for free:

Dec. 4th from 7:00-8:00 p.m. at the Magna Library
Dec. 7th from 3-3:30 p.m. at the Columbus Library at 2530 So. 500 East
Dec. 10th from 7:45-8:15 p.m. at the Ruth Tyler Library in Midvale
Dec. 11th from 7:30-8:00 p.m. at the Ruth Tyler Library in Midvale
Dec. 12th from 11-11:30 a.m. (maybe to noon) at the West Valley Library
Dec. 15th from 11-11:30 a.m. at the Calvin Smith Library at 810 E. 3300 So
Dec. 15th from 3:00-3:30 p.m. at the Bingham Creek Library in West Jordan
Dec. 17th from 7:00-7:30 p.m. at the Kearns Library
Dec. 18th from 7:00-7:30 p.m. at the Sandy Library

I will also be at Winder Farms Country Store (formerly Winder Dairy) each Thursday from now until Christmas from 6:00-8:00 p.m. They are located at 4400 West 4100 South in West Valley City.

Please feel free to bring a camera or camcorder and take pictures.  I will be asking the children what they want for Christmas and will repeat it loud enough for you to hear - in case you need hints!

Christmas Season 2012

My Halloween show is packed away for another season.  Thanksgiving was great, but now is over.  Time to get ready for the Christmas Season - my favorite time of the year!

Not only do I get to bring out all my Christmas/holiday magical effects and put together my holiday show, but I also get to bring out my Santa suit!

Today is the first day of December, and I already have a booking almost every day until Christmas!  People are definitely booking early this year.  I've even had to turn a few people down already because I was already booked for the day and time they wanted.

If you are having a company Christmas party or a family Christmas party and would like a magic show or a Santa, I do still have plenty of times I could book appearances, so check this calendar (it's current as of right now-12/1/12 at 10:30 am) and if there is a day and time that would work for you, please call me!

I keep the calendar on my website current - check it out at www.magicallyfun.com/santa.html.