Sunday, January 29, 2006

A Mathom moment

After all the joy of the concert on Friday – and the pleasure of hearing Mrs. Claus play piano – we had a funny piano moment today.

Mrs. Claus did not play Saturday. Resting, I suppose.

But today she decided to play.

She sat down, and hit a C chord.

But instead of beautiful notes, we heard “MERROW!”

I lifted the lid of the piano.

Mathom, our cat, raced out of the piano and upstairs!

We later found her in the back of our bedroom closet. She had a wild look in her eyes.

“Well, my dear,” I said. “I don’t think Mathom is a fan of your playing.”

I later managed to coax Mathom out.

She spent an hour on my lap. I even go her to purr.

Sounded like a C chord to me!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Mrs. Claus - concert pianist!

One of the blessings of living a long life is one has time to master a skill one wants to master.

For Mrs. Claus, that skill is playing the piano (a skill I don’t have!).

She began playing about 200 years ago.

She plays almost every day. She mixes popular songs with classical pieces.

She is a very fine musician. Whenever we have celebrations, she is asked to play.

Last night, she gave us concert – along with the elf orchestra.

In honor of Mozart’s 250th birthday, they played his Piano Concerto no. 27.

They were magnificent. I was so proud of her.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Cold weather, warm home

Minus 21 (F) and snow.

Those are the conditions at the moment.

We’ve had a number of days like this in a row. More are in the forecast.

And, no sun.

This is the time of the year many of the elves choose to go on vacation.

The equipment has all been repaired – or new parts ordered.

No more gift giving for a while.

Things are slow and easy.

So it’s a good time to head south.

Of course, from here, everywhere is south!

We often close the workshops early at this time of year. We did so today.

Much as I love the Christmas season, I love this time of the year too.

Tonight, Mrs. Claus and I plan to listen to some music, drink hot chocolate, and maybe play a game of cards.

My advice to everyone reading this is to turn off the television – or the computer - and spend some time with loved ones.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Beautiful music - and sad thoughts

A visit today instead of going out. No movie surprises.

Dicross, his wife Cacro, and their seven children.

They all play musical instruments. After dinner, we had a little concert.

It was delightful.

After they finished playing, Mrs. Claus and I applauded enthusiastically.

“It is wonderful to see a family play together,” I said.

“It is wonderful to have the whole family,” Dicros said. “We almost didn’t.”


“When Cacro was carrying our second youngest, Jaisa, she became sick. The doctors said carrying the baby to term might threaten her life. They suggested terminating the pregnancy.”

“Not one of our doctors here?” I asked.

“No. in Germany. We obviously chose not to.”

I looked at Jaisa. “I’m glad you didn’t.”

I sighed.

“Sadly, too many mothers - and fathers - choose otherwise. Most don’t even face
death. It’s just the wrong time, or the inconvenient, or they are not married, or they are afraid. So many reasons. So many children lost.”

The children began to play again. Dicross and Cacro joined them.

I smiled, But I was sad, too.

How much beautiful music has been lost?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Sunday visit - to Mars?

On Sunday, we went to the home of Geolin, the Elf.

We had a wonderful time. Geolin is a bit of a joker – as are his wife and four children – so we laughed a great deal. I even cried from laughing so much!

After dinner he said, “Let’s go in to the living room for dessert. I have a surprise.”

He led us into the living room, then he popped in a DVD.

It was Santa Claus Conquers the Martians!

I hadn’t seen the movie in years.

It was as bad as I remembered.

Oh, not in a mean spirited way. It was just a bad movie.

Plot, special effects, that polar bear, the robot, the green Martian makeup – all bad.

The fellow who played me wasn’t bad, though he seemed to have trouble with his lines. Nixon is not one of the reindeer!

Then there was the theme song: “Hooray for Santy Claus.”

Hang up that Mistletoe
Soon You'll hear Ho! Ho! Ho!
On Christmas Day
You'll wake up and you'll say
Hooray for Santy Claus

Hooray for Santy Claus
You spell it S-A-N-T-A C-L-A-U-S
Hooray for Santy Claus
Hooray for Santy Claus
Hooray for Santy Claus

Geolin served us green colored cake for dessert.

As I said, he is a bit of a joker.

I can’t wait until we have him over to our house as a guest.

I have a copy of Plan 9 from Outer Space on video.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I feel like a hockey puck

Sometimes I forget that despite my Christmas feats and my longevity, I am still human.

Today I played hockey with the school elves. We were having a jolly time.

The puck was loose and I went after it, hoping that I could fire it into the net.

Instead, I took a tumble, landing on my face and knee!

My knee is now swollen. There is an ice pack on it.

The doctor says I must stay off it for a couple of days.

I also bent my glasses’ frame.

Mrs. Claus keeps making comments about a man my age – 1,700 - playing with children.

I think playing with children is one of the reasons I’ve lived this long!

Oh well, no hockey for a while.

Maybe a good game of chess instead!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A letter I'm thankful for

I love getting mail.

In the weeks before Christmas I get flooded with letters and cards and drawings. Children wish me well, and ask about my wife, the reindeer and the elves. And, of course, they send me their lists.

I get millions of letters then. Literally.

But I also get letters after Christmas. Not as many, but I sometimes like them better.

Thank you letters.

I got a batch today.

Dear Santa,

Thank you for the new bicycle. I promise I will wear the helmet.

Duane Stroyer

Dear Santa Claus,

Did you like the cookies? I made them.

Thank you for the new pants. I have worn them. They fit good.

The legos are fun. I built a fort.

Your friend,
Aaron Malone

But the letter that touched me the most was one from a girl whose brother had been in a terrible accident around Thanksgiving time. The doctor’s had not been sure he would live, so she asked me to “fix him” in her Christmas letter.

Today I got:

Dear Santa,

Reggie is sitting up in bed now. He ate ice cream with me. He is learning how to walk.

Thank you for making him better.

I love you,

Of course, I did not make her brother better. That is not one of the gifts I can give. But I did pray for Reggie, and the doctors working on him.

And as for gifts, I think Sheila’s letter is a wonderful one.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Where to get the power?

Back to work, but a light day.

My mind has been on the greenhouse report anyway.

The idea is to have a small forest here at the North Pole for the sakes of the gnomes, dwarves and elves.

We have some greenhouses to grow food and Christmas plants such as poinsettias, but nothing on the scale we would need for full-sized trees.

The report raises the issue I had feared from the beginning would hold up the project. We simply don’t produce the amount of energy we would need to provide heat and light in a large greenhouse in the winter.

We use a lot of solar and wind power during the rest of the year. But in the winter there is no sun. And the winter winds are too strong.

So the next part of the project is to see if we can come up with some energy ideas.

Mrs. Claus joked that if we gave enough children cookies, the energy produced would be more than sufficient!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Happy Birthday Elvis

Mrs. Claus and I had some visitors today.

We had expected Alwin the Bard, his wife and children, so when the knock came at the door, we were ready.

I opened the door.

Instead of Alwin --- there stood Elvis!

An Elf Elvis.

And an Elf Priscilla.

And an Elf Lisa Marie.

And two smaller Elf Elvises.

Then they all began to sing “Blue Christmas.”

I roared with laughter.

Today, of course, was Elvis’s birthday, so Alwin dressed up as the King – and the rest of his family joined him.

We had a wonderful visit, full of song.

Viva North Pole!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Santa in the headlines

My good friend Lee sent me two letters-to-the-editor. They were published in his local newspaper on January 5.

One was written by a woman name Joyce thanking some unknown person for turning in her wallet that she'd dropped in a parking lot.

The headline read: "Santa stops in parking lot."

The second letter was from a couple, Bob and Pat, thanking an anonymous man in a white truck who stopped to change a tire for them on Christmas Eve.

The headline read: "Santa drives a white truck."

The letters made me smile.

First, they involved people who helped others.

Second, they involved people who said thanks.

And, finally, they linked my name to kind acts.

With so much attention given to wrongdoing, it's nice to see good deeds recognized in a public way.

It's also good to see that despite all the commercial hype that's grown up around Christmas and me, the basic message of goodness lives.

After all, what is Christmas but the celebration of God's act of generosity in coming into the world to help us all?

Friday, January 06, 2006

Three Kings

My deliveries for this season are over.

Last night, I completed my rounds for the Feast of the Three Kings. I visited a number of countries – mostly in Latin America – but nowhere near what I visit on Christmas Eve.

So now, I can relax.

And consider the greenhouse report.

Monday, January 02, 2006

No deliveries!

A day of no deliveries. The next trip out is Epiphany, when I get to play Three Kings!

The workshop elves report that most of the repairs are completed. We were lucky this year.

Tomorrow, I get a report on the proposed forest greenhouse. I am hopeful.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Peace on Earth

Peace to all.

This morning ay Church we sang “Hark the Herald Angles Sing.”

I’ve always loved that song – though some of the notes are hard to hit!

“Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace.”

I do wish the world could be a peace. As I travel, I see the signs of so much conflict.

It’s terrible for adults. It’s even worse for the innocent children.

There have been some Christmases I’ve cried.

“Light and life to all he brings.”

Amen. Peace on Earth. May it be so.

Speaking of travels, last night, in my role as Mother Goody (!), I made some deliveries in Eastern Canada. (Some folks also call me Father Time, Mother New Year, Aunt Nancy). I also delivered gifts in parts of Greece, Scotland, and France.

It’s a holdover from the days when gifts were given out at New Years – and in some places where some serious folks tried to ban Christmas.

Ban Christmas! Imagine that. That’s like saying we should ban candy, cookies, puddings and all else that is sweet in life!