Letters from Santa

To: Mrs. Claus, North Pole

From: Hubby

Dear Sweet Lady,

Sorry for the delay in writing to you this week. It has been one of those "last-minute- checks-before-Christmas" weeks, but I'm finally set.

Remember our plan for this year? To find a spot to speed up our distribution of toys for kids around the world?

I checked out spots from Moose Factory, Maine, to Dry Creek, Texas, to Cache Lake, Montana. None fit, so guess what? I'm back in Eureka, Calif., again. It's beautiful here, with the ocean, rugged coast and especially the redwoods. Those trees are absolutely majestic, and the people are just as wonderful as I remembered from previous years here.

On your next secret trip to the USA, I'll show you some of the scenic spots and extra fine people in Fortuna and points south. Remind me next summer so we can also fish on our trip.

So once again, Humboldt County will be my Christmas base. The wonders of computers and new electronic stuff for communication are easily available. Being here on the coast will save me lots of time, and will cut down on the extra wear-and-tear on our reindeer. It also helps that my dear friends Charlotte and Amanda of Eureka Main Street have opened up the Gazebo on the Old Town City Square for my public appearances. My fans will also find me circulating among downtown businesses. I had a great time there last year.

You would have been tickled to have been with me on my official arrival in Eureka the day after Thanksgiving Day. I was riding in a huge city fire engine, and the driver revved up his sirens as we pulled up at Old Town Square, I was met by lots of smiles, applause and laughter. After some handshaking and high fives, I moved to my official station at the Gazebo.

I stayed busy all afternoon talking to children who wanted to make sure that they told me their Christmas requests. Several parents winked at me as they sat on my knee for similar requests. Since photos of Santa are free, there was lots of camera bugging from all sides. As a special privilege, I will get to officially light the official Eureka Christmas tree on Dec. 1. It was fun when I did it last year.

Some parents are still creating a little problem in their visit to Santa. I have to tell them that I don't have a perfect memory. "Don't come back in a few minutes and ask me what your child wanted," I tell them. "Please stand close enough to listen."

The local postmaster has already passed along some letters to me from my best fans. Here are a couple of specials: "Deer Sata...I would like a piloo pet and a noo culring book. Luv...Diann." And "Deer Santa....I would like a noo jum roop, and I wud like a noo buik. I root this letr myself....Jo." I love their trust, and will work hard to keep our records straight so I can meet their desires.

We're off to a great start. Keep our gang working hard up there, but I want you to relax for a change (please)...and stay healthy!


Your ever-loving husband