Friday, December 23, 2016

"He who has no Christmas in his heart will never find Christmas under a tree." ~ Sunshine Magazine, a monthly publication started in 1924, featuring warm anecdotes and advice.

Today is Friday, December 23, 2016. It is officially the day before Christmas Eve. I ask that you say a prayer for the wife. She has more or less suffered a setback or a relapse from her back injury. She actually tried to come back way too soon in terms of resuming her normal activities. It's the old story of how when you push it, it does have a way of pushing back. I could see it happening but it's typically not a problem until it is a problem. I know she feels terrible about feeling terrible as we do our best to celebrate Christmas with our family. My first concern is for her and making sure she does not further antagonize her situation. Everyone knows she desires to be actively engaged in her myriad of ministries and other activities. She is a yard fanatic but hasn't been able to do anything yard related for nearly two months. Her riding mower must think she has abandoned it. Just whisper a prayer that she will be able to enjoy our time with family while she is resting, relaxing, and recovering. Thanks.

Yesterday I completed my last professional Santa engagement for this year. So much fun. So blessed to have been involved in this work for the past eight years. The wife and I still have one visit we plan to do on Monday morning. (Hopefully, she will feel like doing it.) It will be in the home where some folks will be gathering that we've known practically all of our lives. This year they are having a Christmas family celebration in our area, in the home of a family member who is currently in remission after a prolonged battle with breast cancer. Therefore, we are going to show up and do our best to make some photographic memories of the occasion. The late Andy Warhol is credited with this well-known quote, "In the future, everybody will be world-famous for fifteen minutes." In finishing up my 8th year of representing the jolly old elf himself, I think I've received a lot more than my allotted 15 minutes. Not for me personally, although I did share in the joy, but for my alter ego, the one and only, as one little guy put it, "Mr. Claus." The wife as Mrs. Claus joined me in my third year and she has been a brilliant addition. The kids love her, the folks we work with love her, and as my better half for these 52 plus years, I love her too. She also helps to keep Santa on track. Many of you know that's no easy task. The bottom line and we believe this to be true is that in these roles we are in the joy delivery business, and what a privilege it has been to be a part of this great adventure.

What does Santa do when he has finished his appointed rounds? He breathes a huge sigh of relief. And, he begins to preserve his Santa attire to await his first next time in the chair, which, for me, is typically the week before Thanksgiving. While I admire those fellow Santas who wear the suit year round, I'm not sure I'm cut out for that kind of rigorous scheduling. One fellow, in particular, was previously a trainer and motivational speaker. He now runs a Santa school, does commercials for TV, and makes Santa appearances throughout the year at various festivals and other special events. He is very good at what he does and I say, good for him. It makes me tired just thinking about it. The wife and I do talk about the Santa enterprise itself when I do finally retire - retire. We are not sure what additional venues we would try to do, however, we are very much aware of a huge amount of demand for our services during the November - December time frame. One thing I am very proud of in all of this is how we have attempted to do what we do as Santa and Mrs. Claus with professionalism and sincerity. And, we have also tried our best to learn and improve along the way. What has helped us the most? Kids. That's right! Children of all ages, in every color, shape, and size. They make it exciting and that, my friend, fuels a ton of motivation. I send to each one a Christmas blessing from our home to yours. May God be honored as we seek to honor His one and only Son at this time of year. Amen. ....More later.

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