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  • Is there a Santa?

    Yes there is a Santa Claus

    I have portrayed Santa now for about ten years, Maybe it was my size or my hearty laugh that got me started. My boss at work asked me if I would be Santa for his wife's daycare. He had a suite A red felt suite from Sears, white faux fir around the edges, a plastic belt and a rather cotton wool like beard. They had placed the gifts in a large red sack and tucked them in the back of a truck just outside the house. I donned the gay apparel and scooped up the bag of toys. The children were thrilled. The room was hot and my glasses fogged, the children were amazed that Santa would take time from his busy schedule to pay them a visit. But Santa was blown away when he received a gift from the children. Twelve tiny angels, each one with the name of one of the children, all packaged up in a decorated box from Auntie Faye.
    This became a tradition for me, the next year I purchased a better wig and beard. More gifts from the children and Auntie Faye.
    The following year I was approached by a brownie group to see if I could be Santa for a Christmas party. I asked Faye if I could use the suite and she said "of course, that's what it is all about"
    Well I never went to Santa school so even though I was a father and very experienced with children I was not prepared for what was to happen that night.
    Each of the children and their siblings came and sat on Santa's knee. We went through the usual "Were you a good boy or girl?" Like Santa doesn't already know that!!!! "And what is happening at your house?" a good way to find out if the child has both mommy and daddy living in the same household.
    Then the big question, "What would you like for Christmas?" Now for anyone who has never played Santa you may think that its a piece of cake. But Santa does not know everyone's financial situation, so if a child asks for an X-Box you don't just tell them there will be one under the tree, you fish around and get them to talk about less expensive things, dolls and cars, puzzles and books.
    A young man sat on my knee. He must have been around five, the two front teeth missing. He told me that mommy and daddy said he was a good boy this year. I thought to myself this is easy the battle is half won. I know he is good and mom and dad live together. Now all I needed to know was what he wanted.
    "what would you like for Christmas?" Santa asked. "I would like a bed Santa." he replied. No toys, no books no puzzles.......just a bed I thought to myself, as my heart sank deep in my chest. "I sleep on a cushion on the floor" he said."Is there anything else you would like?" Santa asked. skillfully trying to avoid the issue. "No just a bed" My heart almost stopped, he gave me a hug hopped off my knee and sat down. Before I could get my head around what I had just heard another child was on my knee. The next few children came and went a blur of questions bouncing in my head I have no idea what they were asking.
    Then a little girl sat on my knee, she was about seven. Once again I asked the question." What would you like for Christmas?"
    once again I heard the same haunting answer. "A bed!" Was I losing my mind? it was surreal like a Dickens' novel. It was the sister of the young boy who sat on my knee. The rest of the night was a blur, I was moved deeply by the events of the night. The next day I told the story to my boss, he relayed the same story to his wife Auntie Faye. Next thing I know there is a phone call from Faye. " Can you find out who these children are" she asked? I dug around and found out they were children of one of the leaders from the brownies. I told Faye I knew who they were.
    Faye went to all her relatives and told them the story. They all chipped in and went to Sears to buy the children a set of bunk beds. Faye asked if Santa could deliver the beds, I had to decline, you see I knew the people who would be receiving them, Friends of a friend. I told her I would make the call but they would have to make the drop.
    Who knows why I would be in a situation where I could pass a message on to just the right people? Faye doesn't have a daycare anymore. I still have the original suite she lent me. Since then my wife made me a lush suite of crimson velvet with real rabbit fur cuffs and collar that we rescued from an old fur coat.I still need to don the suite to really get into the Christmas spirit, but none have every been as memorable as the year it all came together for a family in need and a family who wanted to give.
    Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus.
    Carl Hird-Rutter AKA Santa Claus Chilliwack BC.
    Merry Christmas
    CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
    "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
    Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

  • #2
    Thanks for that heart warming story Carl.

    It does feel good when we can do something to help others in need, specially this time of the year.

    And it doesn't have to be much:

    I have a sister that is far from my financial status. (Not that I'm rich, but I am a lot better off than she is). I changed my kitchen set recently because the chairs of the old one needed to be re-covered. I offered it to her, and boy was she happy: she says she has some material that she can use to fix them. We also gave her a computer station that we weren't using anymore, some old computer speakers I upgraded from, as well as a toaster and toaster-oven. I also found out she was on the verge of having her phone cut because she is behind in her payments, and I paid the phone bill.

    The only money I spent was for the phone bill, the rest we had. I hitched the trailer to the car and drove the stuff to her place.

    She was so happy, it was a joy for me.

    It's nice to receive gifts at Christmas, but there is definitely something to be said about giving and not expecting anything in return.

    Merry Christmas everybody,
    Marcel
    http://marleb.com
    DW788. -Have fun in the shop or it isn't a hobby anymore.

    NOTE: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

    Comment


    • #3
      i am not in a very good financial situation this year for various reasons, but i always have two things to give, my time and my love and i think it is appreciated more than any gift i would buy.

      kevin
      kevin/pitbull.

      Comment


      • #4
        Talk about tearing at the heart strings.

        What wonderful stories. Thank you for sharing them.

        Merry Christmas

        Rolf
        Rolf
        RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
        Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
        Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
        And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

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        • #5
          I am not in a good money situation either but my motto is: I'll eat tomorrow.
          So as long as I have food on the table, I'll give. Food is not steak but anything that can be eaten. Macaroni is fine.
          I work seven days a week year round and if anyone needs something and I have it, it's yours. I work the telethon each year. I can't afford to give money but I'll give my time always. It is a good feeling to give. I prefer it to receiving.

          Merry Christmas to all
          Dragon
          Owner of a nice 21" Excalibur
          Owner of a Dewalt 788
          PuffityDragon on AFSP

          Comment


          • #6
            Every year our woodworking club has a "Toys for Kids" program which makes and distributes toys to organizations in the area. (Every year since my mom saw it on TV, she tells me that I should be involved in it and every year I tell her what I made for it.) We make over 500 toys each year which are distributed just before Thanksgiving. Some of the local lumber yards and paint stores donate materials and some wood suppliers give us substantial discounts on wheels for toy cars and trucks. We have gotten cash donations every time the local paper or TV stations do a story on us.
            Most of the items I make are made from scraps from my shop or wood I found at work. I try to make at least one toy or game per week and am going to double that this year.
            I get a MUCH better feeling participating in this program than I get from getting gifts from my family and friends. I've even suggested that they make a donation to our program instead of a gift for me.
            I think that people who donate time and energy get a better feeling that lasts longer than people who just donate some change. I know it works for me.
            Fred


            There's a fine line between woodworking and insanity, I'm just not sure which side of the line I'm on!

            Comment


            • #7
              AHH HA! And you thought you were fooling us.

              See, I know the truth! I think Carl made a mistake by logging on with his incognito id, when in reality, Carl is Santa Clause!

              You want proof? Recently he tried to throw us off track by saying that he was going to be on a cruise, and I'm sure he wasn't planning on being back till after Christmas.

              He said that just so he would have time to go to the North Pole and prepair for tonight.

              Yep, I'm sure of it. Carl the Canadianscroller is Saint Nick!
              John Patrick, Bird Oasis
              www.birdoasis.com
              Using Dewalt DW788. Working on a new line of birdhouses and bird feeders for the store.

              I welcome any and all ideas for bird friendly scrolling.

              Comment


              • #8
                Fred my woodworking club also makes Toys for Tots every year. It sounds very similar to the setup your discribed. Most are made with scrap wood, donated materials and lots of love. You know there are over 1,700 members on this message board. Just think of all the young lives we could touch if each one of us would commit to making at least one toy to donate to a child in need. All of us who scroll or work with wood in other ways have a gift. We should all share it.

                Merry Christmas to one and all.....

                Scott
                Scott
                Creator of fine designer sawdust.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by NC Scroller
                  You know there are over 1,700 members on this message board. Just think of all the young lives we could touch if each one of us would commit to making at least one toy to donate to a child in need. All of us who scroll or work with wood in other ways have a gift. We should all share it.

                  Merry Christmas to one and all.....

                  Scott
                  That's a very good point you make, Scott.

                  Maybe it's something everyone on here could bear in mind for next Christmas? I would certainly like to be involved.
                  Ian

                  Scrolling with a Dewalt 788

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks guys ... your stories are insprational.

                    The compliments of the season to you all.

                    Rhys H.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by NC Scroller
                      Fred my woodworking club also makes Toys for Tots every year. It sounds very similar to the setup your discribed. Most are made with scrap wood, donated materials and lots of love. You know there are over 1,700 members on this message board. Just think of all the young lives we could touch if each one of us would commit to making at least one toy to donate to a child in need. All of us who scroll or work with wood in other ways have a gift. We should all share it.

                      Merry Christmas to one and all.....

                      Scott
                      It's a thought. Maybe the Magazine staff could do something with it. 1700 members signed onto the website is great, but the majority of them aren't very active. The year our club made 1500 toys, I made 52 and another guy made over 350. ( That year I made 52 of the golf tee game you see on the tables at Cracker Barrel.) That was over 25% of the total and there are 110 members in our club. If 1/2 the magazine subscribers each made one, Santa would have to lay off some elves.
                      As I remember, a few years ago, one of the other magazines did a toy contest with some great toys and prizes. Some of the toys were items you wouldn't want to play with for fear of breaking them. The majority of the toys we make are very simple, cars, banks, puzzles, crayon holders and doll beds. Nothing elaborate, just something to put a smile on a face and warm a young heart. We do buy crayons and dolls to go with them. We don't do it as a competition, it's all for the kids.
                      If the magazine should happen to take this on and the advertisers wanted to donate prizes, then give the prizes away through a raffle. One ticket or nametag in a hat, for each toy donated, helps increase the number of donations, although most of us aren't doing it for prizes.
                      Okay, Bob and Shannon, there's the idea, could you make it work?
                      One warning though: With that many subscribers donating, it could turn into a full time job for a person or two or more.

                      Some of our toys:
                      Attached Files
                      Last edited by Woodbutcher68; 12-24-2006, 08:32 PM.
                      Fred


                      There's a fine line between woodworking and insanity, I'm just not sure which side of the line I'm on!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        This thread has some wonderful stories of the heart. Thanks Carl for being on the spot and open to actually doing something about that situation. We all know someone out there who can do with a 'friend' at this time of the year and when we respond in the little ways we are able, we see hearts lit up brighter than the most beautiful christmas trees. Yesterday was my day to sponataneously respond by doing a little something for a little old lady in need and I'll tell you what, that was the best gift I have given, this Christmas. God bless all of you who show you care!!
                        Cheers. Teresa .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Fred, I really like your idea but maybe there is a better way then asking to publishers to handle this. After all we do not want them to stop doing a single thing with their magazine. If anyone out there can supply the publisher with names of international or national organizations that would be willing to accept small quanities of toys sent by our member then maybe the publisher could include that information in future issues. And just maybe the magazine contributors and publisher can throw in a few simple toy designs to encourage folks.

                          A second thought is maybe at next year's open house ( I am assuming there will be one ) they have the US Marines Toys for Tots rep there and we ask all attendees to bring a toy as part of the admission fee. Sorry to our friends across the northern border or on the other side of the ponds but I do not know what like groups you have.

                          Scott
                          Scott
                          Creator of fine designer sawdust.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Good ideas Scott. As far as distributing the toys nationwide and to Canada, Feed the Children might be able to help.
                            Fred


                            There's a fine line between woodworking and insanity, I'm just not sure which side of the line I'm on!

                            Comment

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