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Is it really better to give than to receive?

 

So another year has come and gone and here I sit with mind and body worn out. Where am I suppose to find the time to add in what that comes up, will I ever find the energy, will I find the right thing for that one person. Giving presents from A to Z and then I have to ensure all the gifts are ready come Christmas morning. Oh don’t forget the decorations have to be ready in the house, we want it to look nice, you know, in case anyone comes to visit. Spending the money and how many shopping days left? How many others do I still have to get presents for just to give out as soon as they are wrapped? And then to top all that off, I still have to work. Oh wait, there is more. Oh ya, that "Santa thing". I was sure last year I thought, not this year. I need a break! Such a busy schedule and am I really in the mood for it this year?

So I dress, and undress and dress and undress. I run over there and back over here, then to the other side. Hurry don’t be late. Make some phone calls, stop and get a coffee, and get back on the road. I certainly don’t want to disappoint anyone. I drive a hundred miles for five dollars. I drive five minutes for a hundred dollars. It’s not about the money, oh wait I need to stop and get gas. I make sure I have candy for everyone I meet. I have little gifts to give along the way. I always give that smile for all who see me at the red light, They have to get that picture you know. I give and I give and I give…

But then for tonight, for now…

I see people who make me smile, and make me laugh. They are excited – that gets me excited. Their joy brings smiles to my face and warmth to my heart. I love to stop and take pictures with everyone I meet. They are always so happy. That always makes me happy. I stop to get gas, go get a coffee, and someone picks up my tab and doesn’t want me to pay for anything. Do they know what I do? So I stop and grab a bite to eat, and the manager gives me half off. I have the money ready to pay, but they insist. They want to pay. They want to contribute to what I do. Why do they want to pay for me when they know nothing about what I do? I go through the drive through, not to make a fuss, but wait – stop lets take another picture! I of course laugh as I leave, and realize how they just made me smile and they make me happy. I go to buy a Christmas tree –again money in hand – and they tell me no, not this year (not last year either by the way) but no they won’t take my money. So I tell them I will make a visit to you and bring you customers. OK, it’s a deal. I show up and have the time of my life hanging out with this family that runs this tree shop together. And they still insist on giving me money. I tell them no. They tell me I have to. I tell them no, they have done enough for me already, they tell me I have to.

Somewhere deep inside my heart I know I have just made a little boy with Autism smile, a little girl all excited to see Santa and talk to him without being rushed in a line at the store, and a little Hydrocephalus baby jumping up and down, because Santa is in his home.

Do those people who see us at the side of the road know just moments before, we had a soldier with no legs, wanting his picture on Santa’s lap. You see he lost his legs in the war, and he’s not a little boy, but a grown up young man, and he tells me "All I want is a picture with me in Santa’s lap". We pull the wheelchair up close, and we all work together, we take him out of the wheelchair, put him on Santa’s lap, bandages all about his knees, and "Smile" for the camera. The soldier laughs and we are all excited, because "it’s been a few years since I got to sit with Santa, and I wasn’t about to miss out now". Because deep down, we all become children at Christmas time! And my heart breaks!

Do the people that see us year after year ever get tired of us? We see one family three times , because they are always so happy with us, they shared us with their friends and their friends couldn’t believe what we do, and they wanted to share it all again. She is telling her friends what we do, and I try to hold back my tears (and not succeeding) because of those wonderful words she is speaking, I know once again, I am receiving the best gift of all. Then we end up with a truck load of toys and gifts we get to share on our future visits with children. When we thought our supply of gifts were low, once again, it fills our home. A wonderful nice donation we just received, just so we can pass them all along and make a child smile one at a time, just one more time, just to pass on this wonderful Christmas magic.

The soldiers that have been disabled due to the war, and their families that struggle and support them. I always have to hold back that tear and be strong. They always want to thank me for doing this for them (at no charge of course) and they want to thank me for being there.. When I receive their hugs and their blessings upon us, all I can do is give hugs back to them and tell them thank you for what they are doing for me. They give me blessings and this fills my heart!

A 5 year old cancer boy ends up in the hospital right before our visit. I so much wanted to see him smile. I know he would have engraved his name on my heart for an eternity. Our hope is to still see him when he gets better and out of the hospital.

And to piggy back on that child, what happens to those children in the hospital that are in isolation? That can’t get a Santa visit? Well, welcome to the 21st century of electronic gadgets and Skype Video. Yes, Santa at the North Pole talking to kids through video conference, knowing their names and talking to each of the children all individually. The childrens smiles come through bigger and brighter than ever. Yeah, it’s not in person, but their smiles light up the rooms with such delight and excitement, I couldn’t contain myself. Knowing these children might be terminally ill, or just so sick they can’t have visitors gives me back so much more than my heart can hold.

And then once I am on the road again, to an organization – The Wish Connection – and have lunch with those children whose families have been blessed by this organization. You see this organization grants wishes to the families of mental or physical disability, terminal or not, and yes we got to be a part of their celebration of blessings. Again my heart is overflowing.

While I am entertaining children, Mrs Claus gets to visit and reads to the children, The child falls asleep on the pillows on the floor. Oh the innocence of a child, all snuggled up with the book, and laying peacefully sound asleep and how that warms me and brings back so many memories of my childhood.

And little George Philip – oh him! I knew. When he came up to me all excited and then for me to tell him I hear he made the naughty list. His eyes how sad they became. He knew he didn’t do right. I tell him he has to promise me he will make it right, and then I would work on what he wanted for Christmas. His eyes how they lit up and “I promise Santa” came right from his heart and I knew in my heart, that yes there would be something wonderful under his tree come Christmas morning. He restored my faith in him and I know he will do good. He touched my soul, and made me all warm inside with the biggest hug a child could give to me.

The Children in the orphanage once again – they puzzle me. They are happy. They are making crafts and drinking milk and having cookies. They see Santa and all are explosive with emotions and laughter. These kids don’t have parents for whatever reason. This orphanage pays their way through school and college if they continue their schooling. They can see their future, thanks to this orphanage, and it looks bright and strong. These children of all ages, hug and smile and laugh with me as I receive a smile on my face, that no one can wipe away from me, and I can see my future with them as well as all children in my future, bright and strong.

To Happy Birthday Patrick, and we will see you soon Julisa, and a wonderful surprise for Dakota, Sierra, and Skylar, Austin, Nick and Jazmine and so many many more children on our lists still waiting to see. The hugs they give me, the smiles they share, the love they hold so deep inside their hearts, my cup runneth over with blessings that can never be counted.

Of course the children still tell me their secrets. What they want most for Christmas. This toy, and that toy and this toy and that toy, then I receive a hug, again, my heart melts, as they run away they turn back to say "I love you Santa"….I love you too sweet one…I love you too….

I have received so much more than I can explain. I have received way much more than I would have ever imagined. I have been paid back for everything I have done tenfold – in blessings . And for tonight, for now, the world is right. All my troubles have disappeared. And the one wish I want to give to you tonight is God Bless you all; Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

 

 

~~~~ Santa and the Mrs 2012~~~~

 

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