Thursday, December 31, 2009

Decorations coming down

A friend e-mailed me expressing sadness that neighbors had already taken down their Christmas decorations.

Yes, sometimes that saddens me, too. We are still in the Christmas season. The Feast of the Epiphany is not until January 3 - that's the traditional day to take down decorations in many families. Others wait until the Christmas season is fully over with the Baptism of Jesus (this year January 10).

And under the old Julian calendar, Christmas is not even until January 7 anyway!

Up here at the North Pole some decorations stay up well into January.

But there may be reasons for taking down decorations earlier. The tree or wreaths have dried out, and pose a fire hazard. Family is only around for a few more days, and it's easier with everyone available to help.

And for some people, it's really basically only a secular holiday anyway.

After all, in the end they're only decorations. Christmas is a state of mind and heart. I celebrate Christmas year round.

After all, the baby who's birth we are celebrating never leaves us.

So sing a Christmas Carol in June! Send out a Christmas greeting in September. Hang a Christmas decoration in March!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Catching up on mail (and some poems)

Things have begun to slow down - though I still have more deliveries.

But I'm also beginning to get the post-Christmas season mail.

I receive a number of thank you notes (remember, with some families and some countries I start delivers December 65!). I am always happy to receive such notes. They also help the writers to get a head start on the "Nice List" for next year! (Yes, that list begins to be compiled December 25 - so how you act on Christmas Day could affect next Christmas!)

I also got a card and some poems from my friend Lee, who helps me with this blog. They arrived before Christmas, and while the card got hung, the poems were put aside.

I looked at them today.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

He has an odd sense of humor.

Mrs. Claus liked

Aunt Ann’s old fruitcake
arrived for Christmas again
(no, not Uncle Ed)

There were a few that mentioned me and some of my dear friends.

Next year, Santa, please
along with your reindeer bring
a pooper scooper

Now now. They are very well behaved when it comes to that.

finding stale cookies
Santa raids the cheapskate’s fridge –
ah, a pecan pie

While I do enjoy pecan pie, I would never actually go in anyone's refrigerator (unless they left a note inviting me to get something out of it).

half-eaten cookie
clutched in Santa’s stiff fingers –
wicked witch cackles

prone beneath the tree
an unconscious Santa Claus –
Ned’s booby trap worked

Oh my. Of course, such things would never really work.

practical joke with
Ex Lax explains why reindeer’s
nickname was “Dumper”

There is no "Dumper" among the reindeer.

Clem’s birthday shotgun
provided the Christmas feast –
Rudolph’s final flight

Rudolph was not happy, Lee. He might visit you - without a pooper scooper!

They were all meant in jest, of course. I got a chuckle out of them.

Besides, Lee has also written some of my favorite Christmas-related poems, including

A Mall Santa's Prayer

As I hold each precious child
let me treat each one
with the love and care I'd show
Your most holy Son.

Amen to that. I try to keep that in mind in all that I do in this blessed ministry to children.

Friday, December 25, 2009

My work goes on ... but first, Merry Christmas!

Christmas deliveries done. A few days to rest. The reindeer are all back in the stable sound asleep.

Mrs. Claus was waiting, as she does each year. We sat together in silence, holding hands like young folks in love.

Ah, but we are in love, and we are young at heart.

Merry Christmas to all. I hope you enjoy the gifts.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Two days before the big trip

Two more days!

The sack is mostly packed.

The sleigh has been checked and polished.

The reindeer are anxiously pacing in their stalls.

The elves are working overtime.

I am dashing about visiting places across the world, stopping home to read letters and to check the list - more than twice! - and lending a hand with toys.

Mrs. Claus is fretting as she does every year. "You'll wear yourself out. You're not getting any younger."

Ah, but at heart I am! I'm like a child on Christmas Eve just waiting to see what's under the tree the next morning.

Two more days. I can't wait.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Happy Feast Day to Me!

Today is my feast day.

For those not of a Catholic persuasion, a saint's fest day is not their birthday - it's the day they die and enter eternal life.

Now the fact that I was declared a saint in the first place always amazed me. But who am I to question God and the Church?

It was after I died that I was asked to serve the children of the world in my special ministry. I've been doing it for 1,700 years now.

Some years the elves throw a big celebration. This year, I went to Mass, then spend a quiet day at home reading and responding to letters, and then a nice dinner with just Mrs. Claus and me, and our cat Mathom and our dog Shulun.

Mrs' Claus is now playing the piano, and I am going to drink a cup of hot chocolate and listen.