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The Amazing Santa Claus

December 11, 2009

Been out-of-pocket lately.  A week ago I was at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.  For a few years now I’ve been teaching seminars on the importance of humor in rodeo clowning.  Each year the demand for my classes is greater.  I know I say it every year:  but I think this year is the year that sarcasm makes a big comeback in rodeo clownin’.

While I was in Vegas I made a trip out to the location where the nation’s largest Christmas tree was being rigged into place at The M Resort-Spa-Casino.  I did some ceremonial construction-type hand signals and that was that.  I raced to the airport and begun my 6-hour conscious coma back home in the back of a jetliner.

The next day, another Christmas first.  Honored by the invitation to attend my neighboring town’s 100th annual Christmas Tree lighting and celebration, I made my way through the heavy falling snow to arrive in town a few hours before Santa was due.  It was historic indeed.  I am told that this particular festivity is the oldest-running Christmas tree lighting celebration in the country;  three years older than Philadelphia’s, in fact.   Well as 7 pm drew near, I made my way to the town crossroad.  The big unlit tree was on the corner to my left and to my right and up a gentle grade were the railroad tracks that sat quietly on the ridge.  I was nestled in with another couple thousand folks who shrugged off the cold and heavy snow with big hearty smiles and thermoses filled with warm whiskey, tea, lemon, and honey.

At some time one of the townspeople noticed the reflection of colorful lights on the falling snow above the crossing at the tracks on the ridgeline.  Something unseen was approaching from the opposite side of the tracks.  And it had lights. I glanced around me and all eyes were turned or turning, looking up to the railway crossing.  The wind drove the heavy and sometimes icy snowflakes into our eyes and the backs of our throats.  Kids were hoisted onto shoulders and babies shuddered the wind, unaware of what they were about to miss.

Breaking through the darkness at the top of the tracks, two white-gloved and red-dressed arms wave where a masthead would be.  Everyone freaks out.  Everyone yells, “Whoaahhhhhhhhh. It’s Santa!”  It was him, cresting over the railroad crossing.


Santa Claus waved both hands jubilantly.  Young children shrieked.  Young adults, too cool to shout and fuss, couldn’t keep smiles from their faces.  Women and men basked in their children’s excitement and were momentarily transported back to memories from a long time ago.


  1. Biggest Fan permalink
    December 11, 2009 9:34 pm

    This brings tears to my eyes! Hoooray for Santa and the spirit of Christmas. Thank you!

  2. Tim permalink
    December 12, 2009 6:51 pm

    Why does Santa come to Bumdock, PA in early December? I thought he was busy with prepwork at the pole. This sounds fishy. Don’t believe everything you read, Hugites.

  3. Kristi Nastars permalink
    December 13, 2009 12:21 pm


    Thank foe sharing the magic of Santa for children!!! It made me feel young again!!! (that takes some doing)


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