Return By Popular Demand: The Last Christmas Tree On The Lot

We have received requests for the following story to be posted again. Merry Christmas!

Years ago there was a child who was at that age when the belief in Santa, elves and flying reindeer was starting to fade. As she sat next to her father driving home from Christmas Eve dinner, she told him of her doubts about the season of miracles. Her father, who was dreading this talk more than the one about the facts of life, pulled into the garage and told her a story that his father had told him decades ago. On this Christmas Eve, we share the story with you.

That night was the coldest and windiest Christmas Eve ever. The seasonal Christmas tree lot was bare except for one little fir. People had wanted bigger, robust trees for their homes and the tiny tree just was passed by each time.

But despite the frigid temperatures, the tree and her guests huddled together and stayed warm. The little sparrows joined the mockingbirds and Mourning Doves in singing Christmas carols. The squirrels and mice applauded with great enthusiasm for each song. The little tree’s heart was warmed by all the happiness.

As the night went on, so the wintry conditions grew. Finally, just as the first ray of sunlight began to appear in the east, a great whoosh of breeze spun around the tree and there was silence. The tree and her friends discovered they had been joined by a sleigh, reindeer and Santa himself.

One of the mice peeked out from the tree’s branches and asked, “Perhaps you have a gift or two left?”

Mice can be a bit pushy, you know.

“I am pleased to say we had exactly the right number of gifts for children this year,” Santa replied.

“That’s remarkable,” said the tree. “How marvelous it must have been for all of my tree friends to be surrounded by presents. Just think what is happening right now? People are laughing and smiling and enjoying the happiness of Christmas. How lucky my tree friends are.”

“They probably are,” said Santa. “But unfortunately, I have a problem and must ask your help.”

The tree was surprised that Santa would ever need help.

 “You see,” Santa continued, “I forgot to get a tree this year and Mrs. Claus is going to be very disappointed if I don’t return with one. When I passed overhead just now, I was advised by the reindeer of a singing tree. Well, I know it’s rather late, but I was wondering if you and your friends would let me take you home to the North Pole.”

Santa on his way home with a little Christmas tree and friends (File photo)

Before the tree and the little creatures could reply, Santa added, “By the way, we’ll need you for quite a while. You see, we celebrate Christmas year round. It helps the elves keep focused.”

With that, Santa carefully lifted the tree into the sleigh and told all the creatures to hop on board for a trip to their new home. 

If You Don’t Believe In Santa, NORAD Does

If you have munchkins, grand munchkins or still wonder if Santa really exists, then there are bona fide experts who have all the information to back old Kris Kringle. It’s the North American Aerospace Defense Command (aka NORAD) located in Colorado Springs. Starting at midnight NORAD will be monitoring Santa and his team’s travels through the world. But the NORAD Tracks Santa website is up now!

NORAD Tracks Santa*

Thanks to corporate sponsors, NORAD’s website is a holiday delight and as slick as a North Pole breeze. There are games, music, reading materials, movies and all types of activities and items.

They’ve come a long way since 1955 when a Sears Roebuck ad accidentally posted the wrong phone number for children to call Santa. Instead of Sears, the number directed the callers to (Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Commander-in-Chief hotline, where the late Col. Harry Shoup started the tradition of monitoring Santa’ annual trek around the world.

So, if you’re a Doubting Thomas or a Skeptical Suzy, check out NORAD Tracks Santa just for the fun of it.

* Graphic courtesy of NORAD Tracks Santa

The Last Tree On The Lot

Years ago there was a child who was at that age when the belief in Santa, elves and flying reindeer was starting to fade. As she sat next to her father driving home from Christmas Eve dinner, she told him of her doubts about the season of miracles. Her father, who was dreading this talk more than the one about the facts of life, pulled into the garage and told her a story that his father had told him decades ago. On this Christmas Eve, we share the story with you.

That night was the coldest and windiest Christmas Eve ever. The seasonal Christmas tree lot was bare except for one little fir. People had wanted bigger, robust trees for their homes and the tiny tree just was passed by each time.

But despite the frigid temperatures, the tree and her guests huddled together and stayed warm. The little sparrows joined the mockingbirds and Mourning Doves in singing Christmas carols. The squirrels and mice applauded with great enthusiasm for each song. The little tree’s heart was warmed by all the happiness.

As the night went on, so the wintry conditions grew. Finally, just as the first ray of sunlight began to appear in the east, a great whoosh of breeze spun around the tree and there was silence. The tree and her friends discovered they had been joined by a sleigh, reindeer and Santa himself.

One of the mice peeked out from the tree’s branches and asked, “Perhaps you have a gift or two left?”

Mice can be a bit pushy, you know.

“I am pleased to say we had exactly the right number of gifts for children this year,” Santa replied.

“That’s remarkable,” said the tree. “How marvelous it must have been for all of my tree friends to be surrounded by presents. Just think what is happening right now? People are laughing and smiling and enjoying the happiness of Christmas. How lucky my tree friends are.”

“They probably are,” said Santa. “But unfortunately, I have a problem and must ask your help.”

The tree was surprised that Santa would ever need help.

Santa and a Christmas tree (File photo)

“You see,” Santa continued, “I forgot to get a tree this year and Mrs. Claus is going to be very disappointed if I don’t return with one. When I passed overhead just now, I was advised by the reindeer of a singing tree. Well, I know it’s rather late, but I was wondering if you and your friends would let me take you home to the North Pole.”

Before the tree and the little creatures could reply, Santa added, “By the way, we’ll need you for quite a while. You see we celebrate Christmas year round. It helps the elves keep focused.”

With that, Santa carefully lifted the tree into the sleigh and told all the creatures to hop on board for a trip to their new home. 

Keep An Eye On Santa

Around here Santa is considered the top-shelf elf of the season. Starting Saturday evening, the jolly old fellow and his team of reindeer will be making the rounds.

Santa Claus (File photo)

Just for fun, here is a link to him on his journey to deliver.

BTW, there are a heck of a lot of local organizations like Community Partners of Dallas, S.M Wright Foundation, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, The Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command, Toys for Tots, Santa’s Helpers and North Texas Food Bank that helped Kris Kringle fill his bag with toys, bikes, clothes, food and all types of goodies.

Thank-you notes are not necessary, but milk and cookies would be appreciated by the North Pole resident.

Children’s Medical Center’s Tree Lighting Glowed With Derek Holland, Jody Dean, Chris Durovich And A Fella In A Red-And-White Suit

A towering tree with lights surrounded by children and their parents knows no specific religious occasion. It is a moment of happiness, bonding and appreciation. On Monday, November 30, Children’s Medical Center’s garden was ground zero for such a moment.

Children's carolers

Children’s carolers

While patients and their families surrounded the sky-high tree, other youthful patrons had to stay in their rooms. Doctor’s orders, don’t you know. But they didn’t miss out on the official lighting, thanks to the Children’s Medical Center crew. With one crew member making sure nothing blocked the camera from the carolers and Texas Rangers Derek Holland, KLUV’s Jody Dean and Children’s Health CEO Chris Durovich welcoming Santa, the rest of the TV crew was on target despite the evening’s chill.

Chris Durovich

Chris Durovich

Santa Claus

Santa Claus

Speaking of the night’s temps, there were plenty of patio heaters and each chair in the rows around the tree had a white throw for shoulders.

But there really was no need.

Derek Holland, Seth Fuller and Jody Dean

Derek Holland, Seth Fuller and Jody Dean

The event came off without a hitch with 13-year-old patient Seth Fuller pulling the switch and lighting the major Christmas tree with its multi-colored lights and all the minor league trees lit up in white. For sports-loving Seth it was Christmas coming early. Not only did he get to partner up with Derek on lighting the tree in front of his folks Cheryl Buchanan and Donald Fuller, he also just became a new uncle.

Children's Medical Center clowns

Children’s Medical Center clowns

Then the crowds headed back to the Butterfly Atrium that looked more like Santa’s wannabe party room with Children’s clowns looking like North Pole elves and stacks of Papa John’s pizzas being prepped by Children’s Health’s John McFarland for delivery to munchkins and their families.

But the event was just the kickoff of a busy week for the Children’s staffers. They still had the Annual Children’s Holiday Parade to orchestrate the following Saturday in downtown Dallas.

Here Comes Santa…For Real!

There are actually some folks who question whether there really is a Santa Claus. While it’s not a new question and there have been romantic explanations of the jolly fellow’s existence, here is proof of his being on the job this very moment.

And please note that he does not text while he’s reining his reindeer. And, yes, Rudolph is still in the lead.

So, take that all you naysayers!