2017 November 12-18

Okay … it’s not exactly the Polar Express … but Santa had fun!

Sunday the 12th we went to Church and Sunday school as usual. We had a special speaker today, Doctor Terry Teykl. He is a Methodist minister, author, and world traveling speaker. His mission is to deepen people’s understanding of and proper use of prayer. Along with being thought provoking, he was also funny. He said his jokes were “time release” jokes. You’ll get them sometime Tuesday. His sermon ran a little long today which meant the Sunday school was a little short (but good).

We came home and fixed some stew (or maybe soup … it was a little thinner than I prefer my stew) and biscuits. We finished our meal with some cherry pie.

I thought Ella was going to go to sleep in her soup bowl. She is still really suffering with this crud, bronchitis, upper repertory infection, allergy, cold, or what ever it is. It didn’t take her long to stretch out in the recliner and start snoring.

I did a load of dishes and joined her in napping away the afternoon.


Monday 13th started at 61° and overcast. It has been a while since we’ve started the day with sunshine. One of the things that Dr. Teykl talked about in his sermon yesterday was saying the Lord’s Prayer every day at noon. Ella and I did that yesterday after we came home from church. Ella set her alarm for 12p.m. every day. Since I’ll be at work during that time for the next couple of months, and because I don’t have access to a watch during that time, I decided to do it every morning at 7:30. That way I can remember to before I go to work.


We had a small rush of kids early in the morning to see Santa. Then it slowed to a stop. So, to let people know that Santa is in the house, I rode the train around the inside of the mall yelling, “Ho, ho, ho, merry Christmas!”

In the afternoon, a young woman came and asked if she could bring a skeleton in to sit with Santa. I said she could if I could get a copy of the photo. Evidently it is an art project for her. She already has a photo of the skeleton going through a drive-thru, brushing its teeth and more.

We had another small rush in the early afternoon and then nothing. I was told that the night shift only did one photo shoot.

I saw this truck and topper going down the road. I think that someone didn’t read the installation instructions.  What do you think?

Tuesday 14th was a slow day for Santa. That’s not to say it was unremarkable. I noticed a special needs person and their helper going down the mall. Since there were no children waiting to see Santa, I went out into the mall to greet him. He grabbed my arm and gave me the biggest smile. He was nonverbal but I told him that he was loved and that I was glad I had a chance to see him today. His helper thanked me over and over for taking the time to come out to talk to him. I said, “That’s what anyone would do.” “No,” she said, “it isn’t.”

Later I had a visit from a woman who had just arrived from Mexico and she really loves Santa. She hugged me and kissed me (on the cheek and on the hand) repeatedly. She was wiping tears from her eyes when she left (and so was I). The gentleman with her explained that they had some place they needed to be, but that they would come back later to have photos taken. I was reminded of the bible story where Jesus is dining at the house of a temple ruler and a young woman washes his feet with tears and dries them with her hair in a show of true adoration. This Mexican woman truly adores Santa.

I got to the library about 4:30 to pick up Ella. We did a little backtracking after I picked Ella because we had to go back to the pharmacy. The jog tracker showed a figure 8 of my drive home from work.

2017-11-20_07.45.13 (1)

Wednesday 15 I dropped Ella off at church so that she could attend Grandies. They had lunch at the intermediate school as a “Thank You” for all the Grandies does to support the school and children. The school has a special class called “Leaders” or something like that. It was the students from this class that served the lunches to the Grandies. They brought dinners to the table for each of the guests.

As for me, it was another slow day for Santa. So there is nothing really to report there.


Thursday the 16th I went in to work early (dropping Ella at the Leander Senior Center on the way) so that I could make use of a data connection. I have not been able to get online at home since November 4th. That is why this post is so long. I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to post it. However, with a data connection I was able to update some things using my smart phone.

The traffic picked up a little for Santa today. I also went out to the mall and invited a group of special needs people in for a chat with Santa. Most were delighted to talk to me, a few were indifferent and one would not approach me at all.


Friday the 17th was a good day at the “office”. I had about double the number of children who came to see Santa. Very few reluctant visitors but had a few who just would not smile for the camera.

The camera operators (in my opinion) miss a lot of good photos just because the child is not looking at the camera and smiling. When the child and I are engaged in talking or playing games should be great photos. However, even when I say, “Take the picture,” they just continue to wait for the traditional smile-at-the-camera shot.

One little girl would come within arms length (mine not her’s) but no further. I pulled out one of my small toys to show her and “accidently” dropped it in front of her. Then I asked her if she would please hand my toy back to me. She picked it up. When I didn’t reach for it, she moved next to me and gave it back. I thanked her and then started a conversation with her. I asked what her favorite toy (that she already has) is. And we got to talking about unicorns. She never did sit on my lap but these would have been great photos … would have been being the operative word.

2017-11-17_21.04.02.jpgSanta received a gift from a 3 or 4 year old. It is a tiny pink plastic box with assorted tiny tiny stones in it. We had a nice conversation about why she had selected each of the rocks. I  added the dime to the photo so that you had a better idea of the size of these precious stones.

Another little girl was brought in just to visit with Santa. I had her on my lap and got her to smile at the camera. Thankfully the camera operator took the photo even though it hadn’t been requested. The uncle called the girl’s mommy and sent a cell phone shot of the photo on the computer screen. Mom said, “Buy it!”

On the way home, after picking Ella up at the library, she told me about her day at the Senior Center. Evidently, there were a lot of folks that showed up for the Thanksgiving meal. Ella said that it had all of the traditional foods plus several selections of pies. She also said that she wished she could have brought her leftovers home (which because of insurance reasons the center won’t allow) because she just could eat it all. She has now had 3 or 4 thanksgiving meals. I guess I’ll just have to wait until Thanksgiving for mine.


Saturday the 18th was the best Santa day to date. I was busy with children (and a few adults) all five hours of my turn in the big chair. Most memorable from the day was the young man (maybe 17) who came to see me with his dad. As I watched him approach the set, I knew he was autistic. He came with his fingers in his ears and avoiding looking directly at anyone. The dad said that he just wanted to see how he would react with Santa. At first he was much more interested in the statue of the bugler that stands on one side of my chair (a drummer on the other side). He waved his arms and wiggled his finger as if he were talking to the statue. He then lay on his back on the floor with his arms and legs in the air like a dead bug. I have a little blue car so I rolled it toward him. He sat up and rolled it back. So I got out of the chair and sat cross legged on the floor and we spent some time rolling the car back and forth. The dad was delighted and said that he will be back to get photos. I told him about the Caring Santa event the first Sunday of December. That is when the set opens before the stores so special needs “kids” can come when there is less distraction from the lights and sounds from the other stores. He thanked me again and again and restated that they would be back for photos.


Ella had no where to go on Saturday so she stayed home and worked around the house and just rested. Although we are both still trying to get over the coughing fits, she is doing more coughing and hacking than I am.


Published by Tom

husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and Santa

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