Santa Claus (A.K.A., Kris Kringle, Papa Noel, and Father Christmas), Santa’s Grotto, near Reindeerland, North Pole, Somewhere in the Middle of the Arctic
Dear Santa Claus,
I am happy to be sending this letter to you now, as I was admittedly late last year. You must receive millions of letters this time of the year, but I hope your administrative elf-team bump mine up to the top of your in-box, giving you time to read it and know Roger and I are thinking of you. I’ll assume you, Mrs. Claus, the Elves and all the Reindeer are all happy, healthy and ready for your upcoming big night of global gift giving. What a job you have!
This is my third letter to you in as many seasons from Crockern Farm. But you knew that already with those special powers of seeing people when they are sleeping and knowing when they are awake. That, and you follow the blog which pleases and delights me no end.
I don’t have much for “the list” this year but wonder if you might consider sending a few of your elves our way to help finish up a project or two. We have had a very busy 2014 and sometimes could use the extra help. An elf’s work ethic is beyond compare and they could easily provide us that necessary push. I’m not suggesting now; oh no, it would be impossible for you to spare any help during the holiday season! What I had in mind is an off-season visit, say January? You and I agree everyone is entitled to some well deserved R&R, so my idea is to send a few of the elves to Crockern for a working holiday. These sorts of get-aways are all the rage lately. Plus, the reindeer might enjoy grazing on the moors along side the sheep and Dartmoor ponies. Perhaps you could address this proposal with Boss Elf at the next staff meeting?
Roger and I owe you many thanks for granting our holiday wishes last year. We finished the upstairs living room in April and immediately turned our attentions to the downstairs. Admittedly, we started the downstairs project over two years ago when we replaced the old, rotten beams. But now, the bedroom and bathroom are framed, insulated, and plastered. The floors are in, along with the plumbing and electrics. There are a few final carpentry details, which may take some time to complete, but the biggest remaining projects are to lay the tiles in the bathroom and then install the bathroom fixtures. Are you certain you can’t send an elf or two along to help?
A hearty thanks is also in order, for helping us with a good year for our garden. The weather was on our side, and we learned a thing or two from previous planting experiments, which resulted this year in a terrific crop of lettuces, potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, chard, spinach, kale, cabbages, celery, celeriac, beets and onions. Even now in the midst of winter, the garden is providing us lettuces, spinach and cabbages. If you wouldn’t mind, could you send our thanks to Mother Nature when you see her at the New Year? We would love to put in our request for another splendid summer for 2015. Along with the garden, we had so many opportunities for BBQs and evenings in the hot tub. If your summer schedule permits, pop over for a visit, as we’d love to see you and Mrs. Claus.
As you know, our chickens had a challenging year. There were two daytime fox attacks and a horrible dog attack. The badgers attempted to burrow into the coop, too! That said, the current flock is looking happy and healthy. With the strong housing, extra fencing and now the electric fencing, they are as safe as can be. The chickens have asked if from your global travels you know of any parts of the world wishing to re-home a fox? We have one nearby and the girls wouldn’t mind seeing him living a little farther away.
We are excited for the holiday season. That said, I had a rough day the other day when I discovered some mice had chewed their way into a box of Christmas decorations and nibbled a nice hole in the stocking my Mom had helped me knit when I was young. That made me sad, and I’ll admit it, ready to wage war on the mice. But as you’ve taught me Santa, to have a jolly disposition, you’ve got to turn a bad situation into something better. I may have said more than a few disparaging remarks about the mice, but later that day, when Sam and I returned with a Christmas tree, all was right with the world again. The tree is up, decorated and ready for your arrival.
Roger and I love Crockern as it remains magical. With all of its history and adventures, the projects and quirks, the visiting critters and various challenges, the coziness and the beauty, both inside and out, it continues to captivate and enchant us. We have learned a lot about life, death, and the surrounding environment by being here. We’ve had to make peace with the food chain on more than one occasion as we bear witness to predation. Mostly, each day is filled with some wonderful adventure and discovery, which underscores our sense of place and belonging.
Safe travels Santa. I hope the weather will be clear and bright for you as you take your sleigh across Dartmoor. Those rains last year had to be nightmarish. Since it is likely to be wet and windy, don’t forget to wear your waterproofs. No one would want to see that handsome red suit of yours damaged from precipitation. Also, please take special care when landing your sleigh at Crockern. As I mentioned earlier, we had to put up an electric fence and I hate the idea of you and your team of reindeer getting tangled in it. You may wish to just land on the track and come through the front door.
With love and warm wishes for a healthy and happy holiday season to you, Mrs. Claus, all the elves and reindeer,
Crockern Farm, Pretty much in the Middle of Dartmoor, UK
p.s. We’ll leave your favourite tipple on the kitchen table along with some carrots and apples for you to provide to the reindeer.