The jolly old man is on his way

Published 2:53 am Wednesday, December 24, 2003

By BY LYDIA GRIMES Features Reporter
It's almost that time of year. This time tomorrow little children will be tearing into packages, whooping and running around all over the house. Mom will be in the kitchen putting those finishing touches on Christmas dinner.
But somewhere to the north, there will be a jolly old man who will be putting his feet up on the footstool to finally get some rest after another busy year.
Santa Claus is not easy to catch for an interview, but on a recent day, while he was making a special visit to Brewton, he consented to be the subject of a profile.
Santa is indeed a 'right jolly old man' and his is a story not to be missed.
He began his adventures in the early 1800s and used St. Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra , as his inspiration. St. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra in the fourth century and Santa Claus had been a long time admirer.
On Christmas Eve of 1822, Clement Clarke Moore wrote a little poem for his children and although he wanted to be known for his intellectual writings, this one little poem is remembered and read to children still today.
At the time of the poem's publication, Santa Claus was living at the North Pole raising reindeer for those that need them. He had so many reindeer that he had begun to make bells for each one so that he could keep up with them. There were in the land elves who loved the reindeer and followed the sound of the bells back to Santa's farm. They insisted that they stay there and help Santa with the bell making. Soon there were many elves living there with Santa and with everyone working so hard they soon had a large surplus of bells. The bells had become so popular all over the world, that Santa was receiving many, many letters from people, including little children. When the elves were not busy making bells they had been making a few toys and it seemed the children really loved the toys.
Pretty soon Santa was receiving more and more letters from little children and he came up with the idea of making a list of who had been good and who had been bad. That way he could make sure that the good little ones got the very best toys.
Now, Santa knows that we are all God's children and sometimes children make mistakes, so even the children that have been a little bad receive some toys for Christmas.
Soon Santa had more than he could deliver and he came up with the idea of using a sleigh and reindeer to carry the toys. It just so happened that there were a few reindeer who had learned to fly much to Santa's surprise. Those elves just seemed to have magic in their hands and they had taught eight reindeer how to fly.
Of course it is very cold at the North Pole so everyone has lots of stockings and they began to hang them up for Santa to put goodies in. Santa really appreciates that.
Everyone always wonders about Rudolph. Santa said that he wasn't always part of the trip on Christmas Eve. In fact he was different from the other reindeer and that had caused some problems. Rudolph was born with a nose that glowed when he was upset and he was upset a lot because the other reindeer teased him and called him names.
One Christmas Eve it was very foggy and Santa was afraid that he would not be able to make it to all the stops. He had an idea that maybe Rudolph could help with his red nose. Rudolph was so excited and he found that he could control the amount of light given off. It was just right to light the way and he became a permanent part of the team every year.
A few other things were explained by Santa. He said that he loves the idea of a Christmas tree.
He also explained the candy cane, the hat, the beard and the red suit.
And in case you have ever wondered about chimneys, or the lack of them, never fear. It seems that the magic is not all with the elves. Santa has some of his own. He can come down the chimney or use his nose.
Christmas is very special to everyone and especially Santa and his crew. They work all year making toys and somehow they always come through with just the right kind of toys. Santa believes that elves have magical powers that give them insight of what children want every year. They seem to always make just the right amount of toys for the year and then start all over again for next year.
The Claus couple usually takes January off and spend time with each other. They plan to scuba in Aruba this coming January while the elves take the time to go snow skiing. It will soon be time to get started for a new year of making toys.
He wants the children to know that he still makes a list and, yes, he does check it twice. Sometimes he checks it several times a year.
One other thing that Santa is very interested in is the way people treat each other.

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