I know it has been quite a while since I have written in this blog, and for that I am sorry. I do so enjoy spending this time with all of you. Santa has been very busy over the last month or so. Today, I would like to tell you a little about what I have been doing, share a few stories, and impart some small amount of Santa wisdom.
Well, my wife Michelle (Mrs. Claus), Toby (our dog), and I first went on vacation to Myrtle Beach SC. Before each Season we find it helps to fully unwind before taking on all of the unseen stress that being Santa brings. I highly recommend this and also a few days rest after Christmas if possible. We enjoyed a week of fun in the sun with all of the great seafood that we so enjoy. I don't believe that there is a Christmas shop that we did not go in while there. Of course, I left with a few new trinkets. Great buy on straps of sleigh bells that I could pass up. Yes, Santa was recognized by children of all ages. One evening as Michelle and I were heading down for an evening walk on the beach, I was greated by a little voice yelling "Hi, Santa!" I looked and there was a family parked next to the beach access ramp and a boy of five hanging out of the window of the family car. I waved, but could here the father saying "That's not Santa." I motioned to him to see if he would allow me to come up for a chat and he did. I assured them that I indeed was Santa and that I was on a little vacation. The family loved it. I found out that both children in the car loved Transformers and that they wanted them for Christmas. Both children promised to be good and shook my hand on it. Dad had no idea what to think and just smiled and laughed the whole time. I gave a great big "Ho Ho Ho" and went back to Mrs. Claus who also was chuckling. Hey, that is what we do as Santa. We bring smiles and laughter to a world of sadness. Everyone in that car was a child for just a few moments.
Upon return back to my home here in WV, I immediately began the task of completing my schedule for the Season. I basically work every day except Wednesdays and Sundays. Those days I reserve for time in Church with my wife and family. It is very important when you have a packed schedule to at least give yourself one night with loved ones. This year I find myself dividing my time between our local mall, the Charleston Town Center, on Mondays and Tuesdays, VisitSantaOnline for at least ten hours later in the week, corporate parties, house visits, and charity work on most Saturday mornings. I am a coordinator with our local Secret Santa Foundation and so I will be spending a great deal of time getting toys together. Yes, Santa is a busy man.
Another thing that I have been doing is getting things ready for my big journey on Christmas Eve. My wife and I have a toy ministry in which I go out on Christmas Eve and deliver toys to especially needy families who slip through the cracks within a three county area. Each payday throughout the year we set aside $20 to buy toys. Our basement is full! So far I have a Church that has twenty needy children and three deserving families to help this year. I will begin delivery around 3pm and project to be finished around 10pm. I will then pick up Mrs. Claus and head for my mother's house for dinner and presents. After that we have a few friends who have asked for Santa to come by through the night to leave gifts for their children. If I make it to bed by 2am I will have had a great evening.
Another thing that I have began to do to get ready for the Season is to begin a walking regimen. I work in an office as a rule and sit at a desk for 8 hours. It can be hard on the joints. Santa must be able to move around when dealing with the children, and I find that light stretching and walking helps. My course takes me from my office, down two block to the Mall, through the Mall, and back to the office each day at lunch. Attired in my usual red shirt and wearing my red converses, I do get the stares and smiles. I enjoy that. Just Tuesday as I was walking into Sears to see their Christmas trees I was stopped by the manager who was thrilled to have Santa in his store. He had to shake my hand before I could get back to walking. This is a great way for me to keep up my visibility and to also make a few contacts. You really never know who you will run into. You should see the stares I get when I enter the toy stores and pass the cookie stores:)
I guess the main thing that I can pass to everyone is this, relax and have fun. We are getting ready to go into the busiest time of our year and as Santa we have to be at the top of our game. Besides exercise, eating right, taking vitamins, and getting sleep, we first and foremost need to clear our minds and hearts of junk that can distract us from being able to give every child both young and old the experience that they deserve with Santa. Each person who sees us has a dream of Santa and it is up to us to make that dream come true. When we are relaxed and are having fun, then we can achieve just that. I am looking forward to a busy, yet fun and rewarding Season and I hope you are too. So, let's get ready to get out there and be the best Kringle we can. Good luck!
Glad Tidings and Much Love always,
Santa John Johnson in WV