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,
What a year, eh? What happened to it?
In all of the hullabaloo, I believe I may have neglected to send you my annual note last year, for which I am terribly sorry. Rest assured, despite this oversight, Roger and I are thinking of you and hope you, Mrs. Claus, the Elves and all the Reindeer are happy, healthy and ready for your upcoming big night of global gift giving. What a job you have!
While you have been busy getting ready to travel the globe, spreading your usual good cheer (I think you have a rather large task ahead this year), we’ve had our own busy schedule. Lots of work demands which took me away from Crockern nearly every month. I did travel to some terrific places like Ireland, the USA, Paris and Brussels, which made it fun.
Lots of friends and family visited us from near and far, which was a treat. We traveled to Wales and managed several weekends away to visit friends throughout the UK. We even spent a week on a canal boat winding through the country-side. Have you ever done anything like that Santa? I highly recommend it.
When home, we set about our usual projects and a hearty thank you is also in order for helping us with a good year for our garden. After making needed improvements to the raised beds to keep the rabbits out, we enjoyed a terrific crop of lettuces, potatoes, tomatoes, chard, spinach, kale, cabbages, beets, strawberries, blueberries, rhubarb, asparagus and onions. Even now in the midst of winter, the garden is providing us with winter vegetables. If you wouldn’t mind, could you send our thanks to Mother Nature when you see her at the New Year? The weather this summer was great for the garden and we would love to put in our request for another splendid summer for 2017. Along with the garden, we had so many opportunities for BBQs and evenings in the hot tub.
I don’t have much for “the list” this year. I could use some time to rest and reflect on this past year and focus on my intentions for 2017. I am planning to use the holidays for precisely this activity. For Roger, I’m wondering if we might not consider some head protection. There was that concussion he suffered while laying a fence this summer. But, after seeing Roger knock his head more than once on a low door frame or beam in the house, our friend Miriam suggested he could use a “house helmet”. Old stone farmhouses are not easy places for someone his height and I’m wondering if your elves might have some suggestions. I know they are short, but I’m guessing they may hit their heads on the underside of a work table from time to time.
The chickens have had a good year and in preparation for the holiday season, are taking several weeks off from egg laying. The one Roger nursed back to health is happily scratching for worms with her mates as I write this. All six of our hens have recently finished moulting, so we are anticipating their winter break is soon coming to a close and we’ll be back into having too many eggs. If that happens when you are flying past, we’ll make you an omelette or a soft boiled egg.
We think you’ll enjoy a few improvements since your last visit. We finished the floors and walls by the wood-burner, making that room cozy as can be. We still have to work on the ceiling, but we’re not in a particular rush. Of course, if you or the elves are looking for a short working holiday, let us know and we’ll move the furniture out of that space and you can help sand the beams. You’ll like the staircase we refinished and now that the water system is up to date, you may have some thoughts about whether we carry on with the work in the kitchen, finish the office, or start the small bathroom next.
When you arrive please be aware Sam is moving slowly and can’t hear as well these days, so you may need to bend down to give him a little scratch behind the ear. When you do, be warned that Millie will thrust her chew toy into your hands and insist on a game of tug. She’s not met any reindeer yet, but likes meeting other dogs. She’s shown no interest in the Dartmoor ponies, sheep and cattle she’s encountered, so we’re guessing your team of eight reindeer plus Rudolph will be a welcome set of friends. Warn your team, she does enjoy a good game of chase!
Bit of a non-sequitur Santa, but can you vote? I received my British citizenship this spring, and with my new dual citizenship, had the right to vote in both the UK referendum and the USA presidential election. You have such an unusual address, it’s unclear where you cast a vote. And, does your system of democracy involve electoral colleges?
We are excited for the holiday season. The tree is up, decorated and ready for your arrival. We hope you’ll have some time to visit when you come to Dartmoor. 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, Crockern continues to captivate and enchant us. As you’ve always told me Santa, with the right attitude, each day can be filled with wonderful adventure and discovery. Boy oh boy, do we have that here.
Safe travels Santa. I hope the weather will be clear and bright for you as you take your sleigh across Dartmoor. Maybe there will be one of those super moons to guide you!
With love and warm wishes for a healthy and happy holiday season to you, Mrs. Claus, all the elves and reindeer,
Pretty much in the middle of Dartmoor, UK