Be the Claus

It’s two days before Christmas and I could write about the things I’ve not yet accomplished in preparation. The house is finally decorated. Don’t judge, I’ve been a busy boy.

It’s all good. It will happen.

As you may recall, I’ve been spending most of my time being a jolly old elf at Kings Dominion’s Winterfest. We’re there through January 1, so get your tickets.

Truth be told, the first time I was cast as Santa in a church production nearly twenty years ago, I sort of resented it. I mean, yes, I’ve always been “big-boned” so to speak. But I was much younger and my hair was still, mostly, brown. That time I had to use the fake beard and wig.

Even the first few times I portrayed Santa with my real beard I had to use some theatrical makeup to lighten it. I don’t really need that now.

In fact, the beard is so white and (currently) long that I often get recognized. Or at least stares. Wearing red in public can be fun, or dangerous.

In all of the list of things I thought I might do when I grow up (still a work in progress), I don’t think that being Santa was ever among those dreams. It’s one of those things that I came to by accident.

No, I don’t mean that Santa fell off the roof and I put on the suit. More that it came around as opportunity. Not something I was seeking.

That’s changed and this year, in addition to my gig at Kings Dominion, I’ve been doing Santa appearances around the city. As I write this, I have one more private visit scheduled for the year and will be off in just a few.

And, you know what? I like doing this.

I have long thought that my retirement job was writing the great American novel and brilliant blog posts. It may still be (more details to come in the very near future).

Then theater opportunities started happening, and working (retail, not entertainment) at the amusement park, and it’s all sort of blending together.

As I write this, I’m making a list and, of course, checking it twice, to determine just exactly where I take this next year.

This year, I purchased my own red suit and am already making a list of things I want to add or modify for next season.

I’ve recently purchased my Santa domain name (details when it goes live).

And, should you wish to contact the Jolly Old Elf, you may do so at

I started this as an actor. Over the years, I’ve played many characters. I have also on occasion been something of a character, but that’s a different story.

So, I never really thought about becoming Santa. It was just another acting opportunity.

But, there’s something magical about putting on that red suit. Some sort of transformation happens.

This is a work in progress. I hope to learn more over the next year. Hopefully, I’ll get to a Santa school and, by next season, I’ll be even better at this.

I’ll be back next week to talk more about the blog and the future of the writing plans.

But before that, there are cookies to eat and milk to drink.

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

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November Wasn’t Supposed to End This Way

It’s the day after Thanksgiving and many of you are out fighting the crowds to buy stuff you really don’t need.

We’re sort of with you. Normally, you couldn’t drag us to the stores on Thanksgiving Day. But, out of necessity, we’re going shopping for a new washing machine (may I remind you that the tip jar is still active).

When last we met on November 1, I talked a good bit about what I should be writing, about possibly doing Nanowrimo, and about where things were going.

Things went many places. None of them went into additional posts for the month.

As for Nanowrimo? I wrote a full 917 words, including the title and date, before just stopping. I didn’t quit, I just stopped. I realized in that short amount of time that the work was going in the wrong direction.

I had intentions of going back to fix that and moving on. For a few days at least. But the motivation just wasn’t there. Even the last minutes “you can do this” emails from the folks at Nanowrimo aren’t going to get me back to that mess. Not before midnight tomorrow anyway.

In the meantime, I closed Halloween Haunt and began Winterfest, both at Kings Dominion.

I designed a set for a show I’m co-producing and acting in come February. Auditions are Monday and Tuesday for the rest of the cast.

And, I officially announced that I will be directing Sam Shepard’s True West with Panglossian Productions in Williamsburg in April.

I also purchased my first official Santa suit and have now officially booked the remainder of my free time in December.

And, I’ve continued my goal of writing a thousand words every day.

Along the way, I keep thinking about what I should do with this blog. I’ve been blogging since somewhere around the year 2000, maybe before on some weird(er) platforms.

But I find that these days most of my online communication is on Facebook or Twitter. I also have an Instagram account and am very stubbornly, in a Baby Boomer sort of way, refusing to join another platform.

That doesn’t mean this blog should go away. It remains my home on on the web. It’s just no longer somewhere I can visit on a daily basis.

It also now links to my author page on Amazon. Among other things I’m thankful for book royalties. I’ve not quite made enough to buy that beach house…maybe a beach towel. It’s a start.

I’m here today making no promises that I’ll blog more consistently in December. I think we all know that won’t happen.

What I will do is continue to think about this writing platform, and where we’re going with things in 2020.

Last night during one of the three movies we ended up watching yesterday, I took some time to mind map the things I need to focus on in December. This blog doesn’t get a lot of attention. But I’ll do the process again during the Tournament of Roses parade. On that morning, I’ll take the time to map out what I plan to accomplish in 2020.

No spoilers, and you know I don’t make resolutions. But it’s going to be a different year.

For now, the focus becomes Christmas, the Christmas jobs, the day job, and sure, I’ll even pretend that I’ll get to the leaves. I’ll write when I can.

Before I go, I don’t know who needs to hear this. I just wanted to tell you that, the day after Thanksgiving, it’s perfectly acceptable to have pie for breakfast.

Cover Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash
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