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Connecting the Dots

I often find myself in places that I've never been before but something feels familiar about them. Maybe some memory from long ago of a similar place helps me to feel a little bit of this déjà vu feeling. It's similar to the nostalgia I feel during the Christmas season when I see big colored bulbs. Those massive Christmas lights whether on a tree, on a shrub, or on a house take me back to my childhood in the 90's when those where the lights that were most common during that time of the year.

During this past week I've experienced more than just flashbacks to Christmas. Raising a family is a bit difficult. Though married for almost 5 years now, every day holds new adventures with our little ones. With moving some things here and moving some other things there, I've come across items and objects from days long gone that hearken to a time where things were simpler.

If you've followed my blog, watched all the episodes on this website, or otherwise have spoken with me at length on the subject of Santa Claus, you will know that the movie "The Santa Clause" holds a special place in my heart. Having arrived in theaters a few months before I was born the following year, I wasn't introduced to this film until I had been living in America for a year or more. It wasn't even until a few years ago I even knew that there had been sequels made for it (and poor ones at that let me tell you). But finally a copy of it has made its way into my personal video collection (having a Disney Plus subscription also lets me view it in much higher quality than the copy I have).

My relationship with Santa Claus was fostered by this film. It's the story of a father and son who go on an adventure together. The father finds himself transformed, not just into a jolly man with a beard, but into a much kinder person than he was before. This whole story unfolds with magical scenery, special effects that make the imagination pop, and portrayed in a way that makes the film seem more authentic than its sequels.

I cannot continue on this subject without mentioning the Tim Allen Santa suit. What a wonderful work of art from the costume department. I've also heard you can rent them for film productions (Chris Pratt wore a suit from the 2nd or 3rd films in a Christmas episode of Parks and Rec). But the design took the typical "inside" themed Santa coat and made it functional, believable, and more realistic. It's a coat, it should have the length and functionality of such! (not just a thin boxy red cardigan with a belt thrown around the middle). What a wonderful addition to the world of Santa Claus representatives. But I digress...

The original sleigh in The Santa Claus (which was also used in the film Mrs. Santa Claus) was not red but rather gold with some green and white accents. It's not the typical cartoonish candy-apple red we associate with silly and more light-hearted art work. The designers of the film took creating a magical sleigh seriously, and it was forever instilled in my heart that THAT was what Santa's sleigh most likely looked like.

I designed my lovely sleigh with many different sources in mind. Sadly, the sleigh is no longer with us as we had to demolish it in order to move to Texas, but it's memory lives on. I kept it in a storage unit on a trailer and on a few occasions take my son there when doing work. For the last 6 months of it's life, the sleigh sat outside in a field next to our apartments.

The above information is important, because today I helped my mother-in-law move some things at a storage unit facility. My whole family was there. My wife, baby, and our little 2.5 year old boy. While walking around the many storage units, my eldest ran off saying something unintelligible. We called him back and he grabbed my wife's hand to take her with him. It was then we realized he was saying, "Find ho-ho sleigh!"

Our hearts broke a little in that moment.

It has been close to a year since the last time our son had seen the sleigh in its unit, but he recognized a few things that took his mind back to an earlier memory he had. We can conclude that in his mind storage units are associated with visiting the old sleigh.

I hope to provide many children with the magic that my son accepts as part of his life. Perhaps, in days to come, we can both reminisce about the times we've connected the dots.

Yours as always,

Santa Stuart

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