Here Comes Santy Claus

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santa claus

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Michael Kappel

Christmas out on Read All About It Farm continues to be a favorite holiday and one that causes me to enjoy some great memories of Christmases past. Now, with five grandchildren, I have the opportunity to re-create some of those memories and see them through their eyes, as well as make new ones with them. Being a writer, the Francis Pharcellus Church’s editorial that appeared in the Sept. 20, 1897, edition of the New York Sun, which included the famous reply, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” continues to awaken the wordsmithing juices in me to create a backstory for that mystical manufacturer of toys from the far North.

Having lived my childhood on the farm and spent my career in agriculture, I’ve often compared Santy Claus to a farmer. And yes, I do use the term Santy, because that is what Gene Autry said in his song, “Here Comes Santy Claus,” and Gene was always right because he did things the “cowboy way.”

Questions abound about this man who comes to your place at night and enters your home without even the benefit of a key or passcode. Who is he? Where does he really live? Is there a Mrs. Claus, and was she attracted to his cheeks so rosy or his nose like a cherry? What does he do during the off-season? And the greatest question of all is, how does he eat all of those burnt cookies, drink hot milk and still be able to travel without the benefit of Nexium?

Santy Claus has always held a special spot in my childish thoughts due to the fact that he is so mysterious. Let’s face it, all of us have been taken aback by his ability to do what he does and not hold down a regular job. He wears fur, owns flying deer and spends time with a bunch of little guys who have pointy ears.

I have been doing somewhat of a study on Mr. Claus, and I have come to the conclusion that he is a farmer during his time off from flying around the world giving out toys. He has the same M.O. (that is investigation talk for “method of operation”) as a farmer, and when you really think about it, he does wear boots somewhat like a farmer’s.

Just like a farmer, he works all year on a commodity, and at the end of the year he gives it all away and starts all over again for next year. His job and final delivery depend greatly on the weather, and he has to keep his livestock in good shape to see him through the year to get the job done.

Another thing I have noticed, just like a farmer, he has to have outside labor to get his product ready for final delivery. I wonder if Santy has the same problems farmers have with migrant labor laws? Of course, when working with elves you may have “smaller” requirements.

Santy Claus also has the same characteristic as a farmer of being loved by children. Kids love animals, and both Santy and farmers have the market cornered on providing lovable and cuddly animals. I have never seen a child that didn’t enjoy a trip to the barn or a visit to the farm. They both have a good rapport with the small ones and will stop whatever they are doing to honor a child’s request.

Both individuals spend a lot of late nights out with their livestock. Santy takes his out for flight training, but a farmer is usually feeding, nursing them back to health, delivering a calf or getting a few head of cows back in the lot after someone runs through his fence in the middle of the night.

Farmers and Santy both work late hours, enjoy good food, frequent the malls one season a year and have the public’s perception that they can perform miracles with little or no return.

Yep. Santy and farmers are one and the same. They work hard, are appreciated annually, love the colors red and green (farmers especially like farm equipment in these colors), and have the ability to “ho, ho, ho” during tough times.

Thanks Santy and Tennessee farmers for making our holidays bright. I don’t know what we would do without either of you.

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