It wasn’t a deliberate decision, but for the past two years I’ve been on Santa sabbatical.
It’s felt a little weird, especially this year; kind of like the feeling an active church-goer gets when they’ve missed worship for a few Sundays. It’s like the rest of the week feels a little off when you’ve missed church.
Stress has been a factor, along with my wife’s health struggles, and a recent transition from care center chaplaincy to serving a new church in a new town. I did some of
When I first started out and began dreaming about great places for Santa to visit, I thought it would be great to visit a senior care facility. I figured the gray-haired kids needed a visit from Santa as much as any other children.
The goal got put on the back burner until last year, when I began working at a great senior care place that offers quality living arrangements for seniors--from assisted living, to skilled nursing, to memory care. I only got to do a couple of visits last year, w
Last Wednesday I made a brief Santa visit at the senior center's Adopt-A-Grandparent Day. The kids seemed to enjoy it as Santa arrived, and began to hand out little gift bags (put together by an activities coordinator). It's the first appearance I'd done in over a year and I was surprised at how nervous I was. I knew I was rusty when I decided to ask the kids to help sing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and suddenly tensed up because I was afraid I'd forget some of the words during the song!
Actually, over a year away. Soon after Christmas '11, my wife and I began thinking seriously of moving out to Northern California to work with my brother-in-law at a unique business he owns, a former stage coach stop turned into a bar/restaurant/hotel and set in one of the prettiest places you could imagine.
It was difficult from the get-go, and soon became apparent this arrangement wasn't going to work for a number of reasons. Christmas season came and there weren't any opportunities t
My second season was similar to last year's inaugural Santa Claus experience. My favorite client called again and arranged a booking that added another hour to the event. Again, I made an appearance at a non-profit toy giveaway to children and families in need. And I added a new client who booked me at an apartment complex Christmas party.
Again, I made just a handful of appearances, and this was alright, given the unusual year that has been 2010. In the Spring, I guided my small, mos
I'd wanted to post Part II much earlier, but the busy-ness of the season crept up on me. Now here it is Christmas night with several more visits under my belt. This first visit, though, was special, because the children belonged to the daughter of my best friend since 6th grade. I'd known Nicole since she was just an infant growing up in the small apartment of my friend Danny and his wife, Sandra. Now here I was some 30 years later visiting her house and her children as Santa Claus. The gir
Last night was my first ever appearance as Santa Claus. I was visiting friends and their children; two girls, ages 5 and 7, and a boy who is about 4. I looked at this as a chance to shake out all the rookie mistakes I'd likely make in the comfort of supportive people. And there were rookie issues that popped up, even as I dressed and made ready to leave home. I had the suit on, was searching for keys, then realized I'd need an alternate way to carry my belongings, since Santa's suit (at leas
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