Santa Claus' 2011 "State of the Pole" Address
NORTH POLE HEADQUARTERS, ARCTIC CIRCLE, 12/24/2011 --- Once again on this Christmas Eve, in accordance with their familiar annual tradition, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus renewed their regal status as Their Sovereign Majesties, King Nicholas and Queen Vivianne, Lord and Lady High Monarchs of the Realm of Forever. The setting, as usual, was the Throne Room of their North Pole Castle and Workshop; the occasion: Santa's annual "State of the Pole" Address, a review of the previous year's activities in the Realm, as well as an assessmant of the sights, sounds, emotions and happenings which both impacted and influenced the world of Santa Claus, 2011.
As usual, the Address was attended by an audience consisting of Elves, Helpers, and a virtual Who's Who of History's greatest defenders of the Forces of Goodness. Seated upon two magnificently crafted Thrones, Their Majesties looked elegant beyond measure: King Nicholas, in a spectacular 17th-Century general's uniform; Queen Vivianne, in a fabulous poinsettia-styled white gown with diamonds, emeralds and pearls festooned all over it.
Adding to the magnificence of these splendid outfits, the King and Queen wore two fantastic matching capes of crimson red cloth with ermine fur trim. King Nicholas' leoninesque white hair and beard, as always, was the very peak of perfection, as was the jewel-encrusted Royal Nicholean Crown which topped his jolly head; whereas, Queen Vivianne, wearing the Consort's Crown of Forever, matched her husband's splendor-packed finery. Two matching Royal Sceptres completed this miraculous wardrobe scheme.
When he was properly satisfied that those in attendance were all present and accounted for, King Nicholas rose from his Throne. A hush then fell over the assembled crowd, as Santa Claus began his 2011 "State of the Pole" Address:
Greetings, dear friends and fellow Believers throughout the Cosmos!
Once more, the time has come to journey back to the year just now concluded, to bring to you our annual assessment of the State of the Pole --- and, surprisingly enough, 2011 has proven to be the most rouitne business-as-usual year I've ever experienced! And it delights me to say that it could not have happened at a more magical time....
But it is also a time to look ahead as well. As you all know, the New Year begins in a few days; and, with the coming of 2012, the world will shortly cast its eyes upon London, England --- where, for the first time since 1948, and for the third time in its history overall, the United Kingdom of Great Britain will accept the challenge of welcoming athletes from more than 170 nations to the Games of the Thirtieth Olympiad. Will all this have a profound influence on Christmas, you ask?
I believe so.
For once again, History has begun to catch up with the Realm of Forever. As I speak to you even now, events proceed at a pace unparalleled in our Kingdom's time before or since; and, as always, the decisions made by you who have joined us here in our Throne Room tonight will make all the difference.
No one, I think, is more cognizant of this fact than our friends at Bakken in Klampenbourg, Denmark --- the oldest continuously operational amusement park in the world. As the World Santa Claus Congress observes its 55th Annual Session next year, doubtless London 2012 will portray a major role in their celebrations, along with how Britain's vast army of Santas will be able to cope with the coming spectacle of the Games. One can hope that those responsible for these forthcoming 16 days of competition, beginning on the weekend of July 27th, will properly recognize the spirit of the holiday season long after the Olympic Flame has been extinguished on the evening of Sunday, August 12th.
But before all that, we must consider the spring of 2012 --- and the two other significant events here in our Kringleverse which I must share with you. While both are scheduled to take place prior to the 55th Congress at Bakken, they're just as deserving, I think, of recognition for the greater benefit of all of us here in the Realm. The first of these two events will once again see Gatlinburg, Tennessee awash in Santas, Mrs. Clauses, Elves, Helpers, Reindeer friends and other interested colleagues. They're calling it ClausFest 2012 --- and I'm certain that we gathered here in the Throne Room tonight will look to March 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st for what we think will be one of this coming springtime's more interesting Santa-related events.
Except, of course, for the weekend of April 19th, 20th and 21st. This time, the location will be the appropriately named Santa Claus, Indiana --- and this 3-day interactive forum, offered to all Santas worldwide, free of charge, is called the Jim Yellig Santa Claus Workshop. Here, our dear friends, Pat and Philip Koch and Mrs. Jane Holland --- all of whom have their special connections to the life and times of Raymond James Yellig --- will join the assembled delegates for a full weekend of make-overs, fellowships, vendor exhibitions ..... and even a Santa Claus Film Festival!
Please join Vivianne and myself as we salute the organizers of these two delightful events which, I hope, will shed new light into the odyssey and wonder of the Christmas spirit --- a spirit that can only burn bright if it is safeguarded, defended and cherished by all of us!
In the meantime, we must also recall that while thus far there has been little in terms of scandal in the toymaking world for much of 2011, that still does not excuse us from maintaining constant vigilance, as there will continue to be overtures from the Forces of Nastiness, who remain determined to ferret out the naughty folks. Power can equal responsibility, that much is certain; what is done with that power concerns me, and, consequently, should concern all of you in return. As always, may you all be granted the strength to make all the right --- and wise --- choices.
As usual, all is never simply all fun and games here in our Realm. Once more, the issue of economics has aroused controversy amongst us Believers. More and more, the desires of financial responsibility are often ignored by the Mortals on Earth; even as I speak now, at least one or two, for whatever the reason, are compelled to make do with what little the currently possess. And therein lies the root of the very concept of giving: When we first set up this Realm of Forever, one of our major objectives was, and remains, to serve as a standard-bearer to remind the human race of just exactly what the art of giving truly means. The series of protests which occurred between October and December, involving the so-called "Occupation," should demonstrate to you, I think, what we're now all up against.
As occurred last year, there are three new candidates for permanent citizenship into our Realm to call to your attention. I will tell you of the other two in a moment; meanwhile, the third, merits an immediate tribute from those of us here tonight because he has stood tall among that rare breed of Mortals who have harnessed the force of communication that it may be shared here and across the entire Cosmos. Like so may of those assembled here tonight, Steven Paul Jobs has, and even I must admit this, made such a difference in my own life, even as it no doubt has in yours: Through Steve's efforts, and those of his many colleagues, the digital dominion has granted me a greater ability to continue maintaining my duties as Santa Claus.
Believe me when I tell you that Steve has gone far above and beyond the required elements necessary for inclusion in our Kingdom. So too has Jimmy Lomax. Working out of their headquarters in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Jimmy and his wife Susan, for over 50 years, beginning in 1958, made an unceasingly unstoppable commitment to Hamilton's children through their Operation: Santa Claus charitable gift drive. But in early June of 2011, Jimmy and Susan realized that they could no longer keep up the battle --- especially after Jimmy found out that he had been diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. And so, the Lomaxes made the heartbreaking but obviously necessary decision to transfer the day-to-day operations of their gift drive to the CHML 900 AM Radio/Y108 FM Radio Children's Fund.
Then, sadly, Susan stood faithfully by her husband's side as he began his final journey --- a journey that has now led him here, to the Realm of Forever, where he has clearly proven himself to be brave, truthful and unselfish. Of course, dear Jimmy, you are more than welcome here to our Kingdom; and we accordingly invite you to take your rightful place among us, your new family of citizens!
We welcome as well the famous "Dean of New York City's Santas," Roger Franklin. For 22 incredible seasons, this one-time very multi-talented actor/singer/lecturer/stage manager impersonated me at Lower Manhattan's South Street Seaport, catering to its junior visitors in a very friendly and unique way. In so doing, Roger became the quintessential holiday ambassador, welcoming first-time visitors to the Big Apple and a truly marvelous Christmas in New York!
We welcome all three of you to our Lands, Steve, Jimmy and Roger --- you who, in your own important ways, have shared your many talents with the world --- and, by so doing, have inspired others to make a difference in the lives of others. Welcome, then, unto our Realm.
It's only fitting that our friends at Pasadena, California's Tournament of Roses should turn to the wonder of Imagination by choosing it as the theme for the 2012 Parade. Here in the Realm of Forever, Imagination is something which we most certainly hold sacred, for it is the seed that brings wonder, wisdom and magic to our world. I'm sure that the power of Imagination matters to the 2012 Rose Parade Queen, Drew Washington. At only 16, Her Majesty Queen Drew is the youngest-ever Monarch in the Tournament's long history. She and her Princesses --- Morgan Devaud (age 18), Stephanie Hynes (age 18), Cynthia Megan Louie (age 17), Kimberly Ostiller (age 17), Hanan Bulto Worku (age 17) and Sarah Nicole Zuno (age 17) --- spent a wonderful two months preparing to share their imaginations with those who will greet them along Colorado Boulevard on Monday morning, January 2nd. As you may or may not know, New Year's Day falls on a Sunday in 2012; as I understand it, it's Tournament policy not to share their activities with the world on a Sunday, as Sunday is, of course, the day of Our Lord. 'Twas 2006, as I seem to recall, when that last happened; we too shall be honoring the Eternals upon that Sunday.
Now, before I retire from this lectern to assume my more traditional outfit identifying me as the one true Santa Claus, I must leave you this Christmas Eve with some kind-hearted thoughts as to where our world will be headed next:
Ours is a very precious Planet where the most special kind of Humans --- children --- make decisions which, I hope, will always be wise and loving. For aeons now, I've reflected upon what it means to rule as King of the Realm of Forever, Defender and Protector of Childhood Dreams. After all this time, I think, I've finally come up with a proper answer. It is this: our future rests with children who can, if they are but permitted to do so, lead the world into a new kind of brotherhood .... one that will eventually manifest itself the way it has always done, each and every Christmas Eve. It is in that spirit tonight that I make my own preparations to once again bring the wonder of Joy and Happiness to the children of the world. You, my faithful and loyal subjects, have steadfastly stood with me as I fulfill that mission each year; I trust, as ever, that I can expect the same from you all this time, too.
Well, I guess it's about time for me, and all of you assembled here, to get things started on this Christmas Eve. There's a whole Planet out there filled with all sorts of holiday wishes ..... and it's all out there, waiting for me --- just as it's all out there waiting for all of us --- to explore.
Let the journey begin!
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL, A GOOD NIGHT!