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The Life and Times of Santa Claus WV

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The Magic of Childhood Never Changes

John Johnson

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When do you start your season?  

32 members have voted

  1. 1. My 2007 Season starts...

    • My season has already begun
    • June
    • July
    • August
    • September
    • October
    • November
    • December
    • Taking this year off

During a conversation with another Santa over the last year, the question was raised about whether or not children were changing with the times. This brought on some interesting discussion to say the least. At that time I truly doubted that children would ever totally change, and I affirmed that the simplest gifts would always be the most played with.

Then began the 2010 Season. I will admit that I was a bit discouraged when day after day I was asked for Ipads, Iphones, and other various and sundry electronics - some of which this Santa had never heard of. In fact, the more I listened I noticed that it was coming from children of all ages. I would have expected it from the pre-teens or beyond, but a four year old little boy? Very curious.

One night during a rather busy line-up, I was asked by a seven year old girl for one of these new fangled gizmos. I just had to ask her. "What is it about this new gadget that interests you?" I asked. "It does everything," she said and smiled. Then I rather jokingly said, "But what will you children think when we go back to wooden toys?" She shrugged her shoulders and smiled.

This put my mind to thinking that imagination was disappearing. I remember the Christmases of my youth and how all that the children ever asked for were toys that required this feature. Many was the time that my sister, my cousins and I would sit and use our imagination to play games for hours. We were residents of the "Imagine Nation" as Edmund Gwenn called it. But after my conversation with that young one (among all of the other gadget requests) I was beginning to think that kids had changed. They had no use for imagination or its fruits. If a toy can play with itself, then all the better.

Of course, I was stopped in my tracks come Christmas Eve. I have always spent that night of nights in my red suit. I had done some deliveries and had made my way to my family gathering. Of course, Uncle Ho Ho (as the nieces and nephews call me) had to hand out the presents. All of them had made out like bandits, and that was just from what their aunt, Michelle, and I had given them. Toys galore all over the living room. As the hours of Christmas Eve ticked away I sat in an easy chair with my nieces and nephews playing intently together. Then it happened. instead of the toys they so wanted for Christmas, the young ones had found something better to pass the time with. They had discovered the wrapping and the boxes.

New conclusion, the magic of childhood is here to stay. Children are always going to be the product of their times, ie in their wants and in their words and actions. However, deep down they will always be children. Though they might ask Mom and Dad (and Santa) for the gadget they saw on television or the one that their little friends are talking about, deep down they will always be children and have more fun with the boxes. That is why coloring books, modeling clay, dollies, and trains never go out of style. I would never wish it any other way, and as Santa I am proud to be a part of that magic. It is what makes all of us real in their eyes. May we adults relearn a few things from the children in our lives, and may we remember and never lose the magic.



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My Dear Brother Claus,

Things do change. Wishes change, but children do not. I live in a smaller community, but saw nearly 3,000 kids at Kringleville this year. That does not include the children I saw at Private parties etc. This year was the first year in a long time that the majority of kids I saw went back to more Old Fashion toys. For girls, by a huge majority, the biggest wish was for and American Doll and American Girl Doll accessories and books. For Boy, the overwhelming request was for Legos, specifically Star Wars Legos. It brought joy to me heart to see that kids were hanging on to traditional toys. When young children ask for cell phones and laptop computers, I always tell them that Santa does not give those type of toys and that those kid of toys must come from parents. I am never shy about sharing with them and their families my philosophies on age appropriateness for things like that. Generally, Children still want to be children deep at heart.

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Santa AKA Dale


At a family event in 2010 I did something a bit different. Instead of reading from a colorfully illustrated book, this year I read from an "old" book, circa 1954 -- one with no illustrations other than a few pencil sketches of some of the main characters. I told the four children, ages 5, 5, 6 and 7, that they'd have to "use their imaginations" to picture what was going on in the story. As I read "Mr. Longtail becomes Santa Claus," I saw the frankly bored-looking kids sitting there, politely listening, with eyes half shut. Mrs. Claus and I finished the story, wound up the visit, and went on our merry way.

Later I emailed the grandmother of that family to apologize for putting the kids into a bored stupor during the story. To my pleasant surprise, her answer was, "Oh, no. They were doing what you told them to do -- imagining Mr. Longtail

[a rat] doing what he did in the story. They talked about it all evening!"

When given the opportunity, kids will live up to our highest expectations. Who was it that said, "The more things change, the more they stay the same?"

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