BY SANTA CLAUS
Hi, boys and girls of all ages! It doesn’t matter how old you are; I still think of you as young people waiting for my annual visit to your home. Excitement is in the air. I’ve been very busy, like always, checking that list!
It’s been a busy, busy year, and I’ve been relying on my local Santa helpers that you see at stores everywhere the weeks before Christmas. I hope you’ve had a chance to visit one of them or write me a letter sometime this year. As you know, it takes a lot of people to help get me ready for my once-a-year ride. Between you and me, Mrs. Claus and all my elves have their hands full this time of year! They and those Santas that you talk to are important in making sure that I stay on schedule. I have to be ready and well-rested for that important ride. The reindeer are busy getting in shape as
well—lots of carrots and practice runs! What a team we have up here at the North Pole!
Speaking of teams. Did you know that there’s an International Santa Claus Hall of Fame? It’s located in Santa Claus, Indiana, at the historic Santa’s Candy Castle. Years ago, on December 22nd, 1935, the castle was dedicated and sponsored by the Curtiss Candy Company. According to research, the castle is part of the oldest theme-based attraction in the United States. Pretty special, huh? I’ve heard that the folks there are working to get the Santa’s Workshop building all spruced up for visitors again soon.
What does it take to get inducted into the Santa Claus Hall of Fame? The standards are pretty high, as you might expect of anyone who represents me. Consideration is given to each Santa’s career, their contribution/service to charities and their communities, their range of appearances, the length of time they’ve been a Santa, and more. Santa representatives can be nominated in several ways—by department stores, shopping centers or malls, chambers of commerce, or by family members. The selection process takes a while, sometimes as long as 18 months.
It’s a high honor indeed to be in the Santa Claus Hall of Fame. Of the over 7,000 folks who represent me in the United States, less than 75 receive this honor. I heard that one of the members is from North Carolina! How about that!
Remember to thank the Santas you visit this year. Be kind to each other and help out with chores around the house. Do your homework and eat your vegetables. Christmas is about sharing with others, as you know.
By the way, I love the cookies and milk many of you leave out for me. Healthy treats are tasty too! Mrs. Claus is always trying to get me to eat more veggies, but I do love cookies (especially the ones with sprinkles). And, if you leave a few carrot sticks for Rudolph and the other reindeer, they’ll be thrilled!
Merry Christmas to You—each and every one! I’ll be flying your way soon!