From Santa Hollywood

Insight into Christmas, the Holidays and the World of Santa Claus

Santa Emeritus

posted by SantaTim On August - 21 - 2014 Comments Off on Santa Emeritus

“What do you do with a General,

when he stops being a General?

What do you do when a General Retires?”

  From the movie "White Christmas", when Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) travels to New York to appear on the Ed Harrison Show and asks all the troops to give up their Christmas and travel to New England to visit their General (Dean Jaggar)

When it is time to step down?  What do you do with a Santa when it is time for him to retire?

I would like to propose a special title, “Santa Emeritus!”

I have been teaching Santas and Mrs. Claus since the summer of 2003, nearly 3000 have attended the Schools.  In all, I have visited over a forty cities across the U.S. , plus Canada, and Europe.  Plus, in addition to the schools, many area Santas and wives have join the students of my school on Saturday evenings for casual dinners and some networking.  It truly is a wonderful experience.

And in doing all of this I have had the opportunity to meet Santas and Mrs. Claus from all walks of life.  They come from all backgrounds and occupations and whether they worked in a Mall, did private parties or were just a volunteer Santa or Mrs. Claus, they all shared the same mission, bringing joy to children.

One of the things I have also noticed in the past few years, is more Santas using walkers and in some cases wheel chairs or power scooters to get around.  I know for some this is only temporary and normally the children never see this.

However, there are other Santas who must depend on these aids everyday, and everywhere they go.  And I am concerned about them and what others might think.  Not only about their plans to work as Santa, but also what will children think when they see Santa with a walker or confined to a wheel chair.  And what do the parents think?

Maybe my concern is because I am getting older and wonder if I will be using an aid one day.  Or, possibly it is because my mother and other relatives do so.   In any case, it has led me to think about the future.

Of the Santas I have met over the years, in scooters and walkers, I realized that although they had the look and spirit of Santa, they also had some serious physical limitations.

First I worried about their health and the many difficulties that they must encounter.  As I said, my mother is in a walker and I also have many friends who due to their age or other situations have had to resort to medical aids to get around.   That’s one of the problems we encounter as we get older, we find we have more limitations and we often see our friends encountering limitations, too!

I asked one of the Santas, “What do you tell the children when they ask about your wheel chair?”  His reply was, “I tell them that on Christmas Eve the Magic of Christmas comes over me and miraculously I can walk and go up and down chimneys and do all of the work necessary to deliver the presents to you and children all over the world.”

Now I love the creativity of Santas who come up with clever answers to children’s questions.  And I never like to tell a Santa that his story is wrong or out of place.  But in this case, I have to make a stand.
You cannot tell a child that the magic comes on Christmas Eve and you don’t need the walker or mechanical aid that night.  They are going to want to know if you can cure their Grandparents or a sick relative.   Santa does not have that kind of magic.  His magic is toys and deliveries, not instant healing!

I think that when a Santa reaches the point of being physically limited, he should seriously consider stepping down from being Santa.  Oh, I am not saying that he has to give up the look and the wonder of being Santa, but he needs to make some adjustments or changes.

To help all Santas currently in this position and for those of us who may one day be in the same situation, I am proposing the title of, “Santa Emeritus.”

Simply it means “one retired from professional life, but permitted to retain forever, as an honorary title, the position of the last office held, Santa.”

As a Santa Emeritus, a Santa could easily explain a walker, wheel chair or electric scooter, and say that he has retired from the regular work of supervising the elves and delivering the toys and has now turned that over to a new Santa.  He might say that his son is the new Santa.

Maybe he needs to tell the children something else.  Why not explain that like many other people who get old, Father Time finally got to him.  He can explain that he’s retired from delivering toys, and that his Son, or brother, is the new Santa.   He could say that his Brother, ‘Fred’” is the new Santa, telling the children the movie was about he and his brother.  Children could easily relate to that as they had seen the movie.

There have been plenty of movies and television shows that have used this scenario where Santa’s Son or Daughter takes over the family business.   Other scenarios have also had Santa’s wife and daughter help with the deliveries.   Why even Tim Allen took over when Santa fell off the roof!

Now here is the nice part.   After you have told the children that you have turned the toy delivery over to the new Santa, you can add, “But you know, I still get to check on who is naughty and who is nice, and report back to the new Santa for his record keeping.”  I am sure that each Santa Emeritus will come up with his own explanation.

I know there are many Santas who quietly retire from the position of Santa.  Once they no longer work at the mall or once some health situation invades their lives, they decide to put their red suit away.  But wouldn’t it nice if they could still meet children and talk with them and encourage them to be good?

No matter what our status is in life, there will come a time when we must accept change.  Whether it is our health, an act of nature, or an act of God, there will be changes.   And we need to be able to accept them and move on.

But isn’t it nice, and wouldn’t it be wonderful, that no matter what your situation or your limitations, you could continue to enjoy bringing joy to children and families, as “Santa Emeritus!”


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