A Happy Holiday Blog

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ....
When I was about four years old and Santa was more real than anything else in my world, I went to a shopping center (there were no malls back then) to see Santa. I was one kid away from getting to sit on Santa’s lap when the kid already there started giving Santa grief. After a few moments of playful bantering Saint Nick had had enough and let fly with “Do not f**k with my jolly, you little brat.” That was when I discovered how certain kids got on the naughty list. It was also the exact same moment that I realized that Santa’s a pretty big dude and I didn’t want to mess with him. But, not once during the episode did it ever occur to me that Santa might, just might, be a factory worker looking to make some extra cash for the holidays. His elf, on the other hand, looked suspiciously like a neighbor lady.

But the belief in Santa lingers on. Children the world over anxiously anticipate his arrival after they’ve gone to bed. And – NO PEEKING – Santa will know! There will be the usual kids who try to figure out exactly how Santa delivers his toys the world over. Children will be glued to the internet, or to their TVs like when I was a kid, watching NORAD’s Santa Tracker carefully plot where Santa is using the latest high tech radar. So, naturally, FOX! News did their level best to destroy every child’s dreams.

A Fox news anchor and a New York elementary school teacher both found themselves in hot water this week after declaring there is no such thing as Santa Claus.

Anchor Robin Robinson let the secret slip during a report on mall Santas being coached to manage kids’ gift expectations.

“Stop trying to convince your kids that Santa is Santa,” Robinson said to her co-host on The Talker. “That’s why they have these high expectations. They know you can’t afford it, so what do they do? Just ask some man in a red suit. There is no Santa.”

Those four words prompted a flood of angry calls and Facebook posts from viewers.

“I find it appalling. My son was watching, as we do almost every night,” wrote a man named David.

“For somebody who has been on a major news channel for so long, (she) should know what to say and what not to say. Not all kids are asleep by nine,” wrote Carol.

To deal with the backlash, Robinson issued an apology, saying she ought to have warned parents to have their kids leave the room.

“It was careless and callous to say what I said in what could have been mixed company. So many kids don’t get to be children that for those who can live the wonder and magic of Christmas, I would never spoil it intentionally. I sincerely apologize,” she wrote.

Meanwhile, a teacher in Rockland County, N.Y., took a more direct route, telling kids to their faces that the jolly old man is just a myth, reports the New York Post.

During a lesson about the North Pole, a student in Leatrice Ann Eng’s Grade 2 class pointed out that’s where Santa lives.

Eng then told the students that Santa is not real and their parents buy the gifts.

She’s since been forced to call individual parents and apologize for the blunder.

Why would any sane adult do that? What possible gain can there be in destroying a child’s dreams? Do some people wake up and say “Oh look, a happy child, I must destroy it”?

What evil lurks in the hearts of men?

The answer is enough of it to steal an inflatable Santa. However, this story has a happy ending.

A southern Indiana man has gotten an early Christmas gift: A 16-foot-tall inflatable Santa Claus stolen from his yard has been returned with $100 and a note of apology.

Jason McClaren tells The Herald-Times that someone returned the deflated Santa to his Unionville yard early Saturday in a trash bag that also contained the money and note.

He says the anonymous note makes it clear that the person who returned the Santa wasn’t the thief who took it and two 6-foot tall penguins this past week. The penguin decorations are still missing.

The typed note states: “Returning your property is the right thing to do, and apologies for the thief who took it in the first place.”

McClaren says he plans to use the $100 to buy more decorations.

I know nothing says Christmas to me more than penguins. Which, I should point out, live on the South Pole, not the North. But, hey, it’s Indiana so I guess it’s understandable.

Speaking of inflatable Santas, one tore the roof off of a bar in England last weekend.

I told you not to mess with Santa.

The inflatable Father Christmas has proved to be a one-man demolition derby with strong winds causing the Santa to pull down tiles from the roof of the Old Manor pub in Potters Bar.

But Mr Marler is keen to keep his decoration – which is unsurprising as it cost him £3,000. However, he is fully aware of the damage it has caused:

‘When it is really windy it causes the whole pub to violently shake from side to side and makes a deafening creaking noise.

‘The first time I heard it I got quite a shock it sounded like a wooden galleon rocking in a storm. It once created so much force that it actually ripped the mooring ropes out of the walls.’

The sky-high Santa lights up at night and is so colossal it can be seen by passing planes. Six men were needed to lift it onto the chimney where it still has pride of place.

Mr Marler believes it was worth every penny. He said: ‘Children ask their parents to take a detour on their way home from school to look at it and commuters can see it from the train.’

58-year-old Mr Marler has been allowed to keep his unique Christmas decoration on the grounds that it remains safe.

See? Some people get it. Santa’s supposed to inspire laughter and joy. And if it costs the man a ruined foundation on his bar and the occasional portion of roof being ripped off, then it’s a small price to pay as far as I’m concerned.

But some people just don’t get it. One such person would be Kevin Michael Walsh, a/k/a Frosty the Felon.

Who says “Frosty the Snowman” has to be jolly?

A man in a “Frosty the Snowman” costume was arrested Saturday during the annual Christmas parade in Chestertown, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. He’s accused of scuffling with police and kicking at a police dog.

Sgt. John A. Dolgos tells The Star Democrat of Easton that 52-year-old Kevin Michael Walsh became agitated when a dog-handling officer tried to escort him away from the crowd.

Walsh told The Associated Press that he has dressed as Frosty in the parade for at least 10 years. He says he did nothing wrong and was wrongfully arrested. He says an officer hassled him after he made a joke about the police dog’s presence at the parade.

Walsh was released on personal recognizance.

Thumpity thump thump, thumpity thump thump, look at Frosty go …. to jail. Somehow I just don’t see the DA actually prosecuting Frosty in this case. The courthouse would be layered with crying kids and angry parents. Not a good way for any DA, even in bu-fu Maryland, to advance their career.

As everyone knows, any Christmas themed blog needs a heartwarming story at the end. Something to make girls go “Awww” and guys get all misty – it’s the air freshener, leave me alone. I shall not disappoint.

Many Pittsburgh residents were mildly stunned to receive Christmas cards …. from their dead friend.

The holiday cards from Bob McCully were truly a special delivery – from beyond the grave.

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, about 400 people recently received macabre but humorous greetings from McCully, who died in August at 88.

The former Pittsburgh advertising executive is pictured on the front of the card talking on the phone in an office.

“Hello, please don’t call,” it reads. “I recently moved to a quiet neighborhood …”

Inside, the card says: “My new place doesn’t have a phone and our gates close after dark.” Pictures show the gates at Allegheny Cemetery in Lawrenceville and McCully’s tombstone.

Friends say a relative produced the card, which generated a mix of emotions for longtime McCully friend David Newell.

“It was the strangest feeling getting that card. It was almost eerie. But when I opened it, I laughed out loud. It was the ultimate Christmas card,” Newell said.

McCully often performed locally in satirical musical revues and was known for his darkly funny Christmas greetings. For several years, Newell said, cards were written from the perspective of McCully’s former dog, Rolf.

This year’s card might be the most memorable of all.

“I was delighted to no end. It was a great source of joy for me,” said Ed Blank, former Pittsburgh Press and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review film critic. “It was like nothing I’ve ever received.”

There, don’t you feel better about humanity already? I know I do.

I also know I’m going to arrange for posthumous cards as well. Maybe even for Valentine’s day too.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKcwjs4iZc8&w=480&h=360]

Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG AM 1280, every Thursday morning around 9:10!

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