Playing Catch-Up

Time for New Year’s resolutions, they say.  So, I’ll try to lose some weight, try to achieve better harmony with my co-workers…. wait, i’m retired!  Should make that last one easier, yes?  One thing I’m going to try to do, without setting any specific goals, is to do more posting on this here blog.  I know, I know, I don’t have anything interesting to say, no amazing adventures to describe, but hey, why should you guys get off easy?  I’m gonna bombard you with my nonsense anyway!  Here goes…..IMG_7894
Turning back the clock a bit, let’s talk about the recent holiday season.  As you may know, I get to be the Santa Claus for our little community of Corydon, Indiana, and I really enjoy the ‘Santa Claus time of year’.  Our season starts on the weekend following Thanksgiving, and Ground Zero for that activity is Corydon’s Town Square – the event is called “Light Up Corydon”, and the name refers to the lighting of the thousands of lights that have been strung in the trees all over the square.  Work schedule permitting, wife Kate appears as Mrs. Claus, and she fills that role beautifully!  Incidentally, she made both our costumes, and, ask anyone, they turned out great!
There’s a certain amount of choreography involved in getting the two of us up on the stage of the bandstand to act as the ‘stars of the evening’.  We show up early, and one of the nice folks at the Convention and Visitors Bureau lets us into one of the adjacent buildings so we can get dressed for the event.  Then, at the appointed time, they will escort us over to the bandstand to get things started.  Of course, we have to work our way through a throng of kids and parents to make our way over there, and it’s lots of fun waving at everyone, doing the “Ho Ho Ho”, and trying to pay special attention to the little ones we encounter.
As Santa Claus, I get to do the actual countdown for the lighting, and I always try to get the crowd involved.  IMG_6350-1600I’ve got the microphone, and I start calling out the sequence, “Ten, Nine, Eight…”, and the kids are all going nuts, shouting, jumping, squealing, trying to help with the countdown.  At “Zero” I flip the Big Switch….. well, actually, there is no Big Switch – at “Zero” somebody plugs in an extension cord, I think.  Oh well, the kids always love it  🙂 IMG_3709
After the lighting is done, Mrs. Claus and I are escorted over to the Old Capitol Building (built in 1813) – it’s only about a 50-yard walk.  Again, we get to squeeze through the crowd, patting heads, waving, smiling, nothing like it!  Once in the Capitol, I’ll be ensconced in my big chair, right next to the Christmas tree, waiting to receive the kids who want to come tell me what they want for Christmas.  That’s the big payoff, for me and for the kids.  It’s a precious time, seeing the wonder and excitement on their little faces.  Some of them are of an age where they are pretty sure they know what it’s all about, but maybe, just maybe, it wouldn’t hurt to whisper the Christmas list to Santa 🙂
So, that’s “Light Up Corydon”.  The rest of my ‘official’ duties as Santa Claus involve my appearance back at the Old Capitol for each of the first 3 Saturdays in December, from 1 – 5 PM for photos and kid visits.
One minor problem with using the Capitol as our venue is its status as a Historical Site, which means that it has to remain in its original condition, without electrical wiring, and without a heating system.  So, from time to time it gets kinda frosty in there. Thank goodness for long underwear 🙂
During December, Kate takes care of sending out invitations to nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities to see if they’d like to have a visit by Santa and Mrs Claus for their Christmas party to help pass out gifts or whatever they want.  Sometimes, Mrs. Claus will play Christmas carols on the piano.  Of course, there is no charge for any of this, we just like to help out with cheering up the folks who live in those facilities. Again, a very rewarding experience to see the shut-ins with smiling faces as we make the rounds shaking hands and chatting.
Right after Christmas we got to drive down to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to attend the wedding of  one of Kate’s grand-daughters, Mercedes McVey.  She had her wedding scheduled for December 29th, which was the only window of opportunity for her sailor fiancé, Mark Stedman, due to Navy scheduling. I had volunteered to be their (unpaid) wedding photographer, as a wedding gift for them.  IMG_6737-1600That turned out to be a special time, and we got to enjoy a family reunion as family members came in from Denver and North Carolina. I hope they like my photographic efforts – I did my best with the photo equipment I had.
We took our Santa / Mrs Claus costumes to Tulsa with us so we could have some photo sessions with the little people in the family – Laurel Green and Eli McVey. Eli seemed ok with it, but Laurel cried and cried.  Oh well, these things happen 🙂
Well, that kinda catches up on reporting our recent activities (nudge, nudge, you can wake up now).  I’ll try to do these posts a little more frequently in the future.

One response to “Playing Catch-Up

  1. Tracy Monroe

    I love your writing, Jim! I wish I were as talented… 🙂

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