Posts Tagged With: Christmas

‘I cried all the way home’: Santa Claus grants final wish to a dying child…A Christmas story….


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Eric Schmitt-Matzen looks every bit the Santa Claus.

His 6-foot frame carries 310 pounds, leaving “just enough of a lap for the kids to sit on,” he says with a gentle Kringley chuckle right out of Central Casting.

No fake facial fuzz for this guy. Schmitt-Matzen’s snowy beard is the real thing, albeit regularly bleached to maintain its whiteness. His shag is so spectacular, in fact, it won first place in the “natural full beard, styled moustache” division of a 2016 national contest sponsored by the Just For Men hair products company.

He’s professionally trained. Custom-tailored in red. Was born on Dec. 6 (that’s Saint Nicholas Day — are you surprised?) Works approximately 80 gigs annually. Wife Sharon plays an authentic Mrs. Claus. His cellphone, with a Jingle Bells ringtone, continually counts down the days until Christmas. Even his civilian attire always includes Santa suspenders.

The whole shtick is designed to spread joy and have fun.

Which it does – except for the role he played several weeks ago at a local hospital.

“I cried all the way home,” Schmitt-Matzen told me. “I was crying so hard, I had a tough time seeing good enough to drive.

“My wife and I were scheduled to visit our grandchildren in Nashville the next day, but I told her to go by herself. I was a basket case for three days. It took me a week or two to stop thinking about it all the time. Actually, I thought I might crack up and never be able to play the part again.”

This is what happens when a terminally ill child dies in Santa’s arms.

“I’d just gotten home from work that day,” recalled Schmitt-Matzen, 60, a mechanical engineer and president of Packing Seals & Engineering in Jacksboro.

“The telephone rang. It was a nurse I know who works at the hospital. She said there was a very sick 5-year-old boy who wanted to see Santa Claus.

“I told her, ‘OK, just let me change into my outfit.’ She said, ‘There isn’t time for that. Your Santa suspenders are good enough. Come right now.’ ”

Schmitt-Matzen got to the hospital in 15 minutes. He met the lad’s mother and several family members.

“She’d bought a toy from (the TV show) PAW Patrol and wanted me to give it to him,” he said, voice growing husky. “I sized up the situation and told everyone, ‘If you think you’re going to lose it, please leave the room. If I see you crying, I’ll break down and can’t do my job.’ ”

Nobody entered with him. They watched, sobbing, from a hallway window in the Intensive Care Unit.

“When I walked in, he was laying there, so weak it looked like he was ready to fall asleep. I sat down on his bed and asked, ‘Say, what’s this I hear about you’re gonna miss Christmas? There’s no way you can miss Christmas! Why, you’re my Number One elf!

“He looked up and said, ‘I am?’

“I said, ‘Sure!’

“I gave him the present. He was so weak he could barely open the wrapping paper. When he saw what was inside, he flashed a big smile and laid his head back down.

‘“They say I’m gonna die,’ he told me. ‘How can I tell when I get to where I’m going?’

“I said, ‘Can you do me a big favor?’

“He said, ‘Sure!’

“When you get there, you tell ’em you’re Santa’s Number One elf, and I know they’ll let you in.

“He said, ‘They will?’

“I said, ‘Sure!’

“He kinda sat up and gave me a big hug and asked one more question: ‘Santa, can you help me?’

“I wrapped my arms around him. Before I could say anything, he died right there. I let him stay, just kept hugging and holding on to him.

“Everyone outside the room realized what happened. His mother ran in. She was screaming, ‘No, no, not yet!’ I handed her son back and left as fast as I could.

“I spent four years in the Army with the 75th Rangers, and I’ve seen my share of (stuff). But I ran by the nurses’ station bawling my head off. I know nurses and doctors see things like that every day, but I don’t know how they can take it.’”

In despair, Schmitt-Matzen was ready to hang up his suit. “I’m just not cut out for this,” he reasoned.

But he mustered the strength to work one more show.

“When I saw all those children laughing, it brought me back into the fold. It made me realize the role I have to play.

“For them and for me.”

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Buy a Home..J C Penny…Christmas Catalog 1934


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Boy Finds WWII Bomb With Metal Detector………….


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A metal detector received as a Christmas gift led a young boy to find a WWII bomb buried in a British field.

Parents do not typically expect a stocking stuffer, this one a metal detector from National Geographic, to make the headlines. This holiday present is worthy of attention for leading to the discovery of a WWII bomb buried in a field in Norfolk, England.
During his first jaunt with the detector, seven-year-old Sonny Cater was scanning a field near his home when he discovered the metal capsule. The boy, accompanied by his parents and brother, was alerted to the buried object when the metal detector began beeping.

According to an article by The Daily Mirror, the family had no idea what the mud covered object was until they brought it home for closer inspection. The boy’s mother, 39-year-old Tracey Wood, said the following:

“It was a big muddy lump when it came to the surface so we stupidly thought, ‘Let’s take it home’. We feel a bit silly now we know it could have potentially been dangerous but its not often you go exploring and end up with a bomb.”

Bringing the object to their home and washing the mud away, the boy’s father became concerned and placed a call to authorities. Bomb experts from RAF Wittering quickly converged on the family’s Kings Lynn residence.

The Telegraph reports that the device was identified as a “10lb British practice bomb from WWII” before it was taken away for safe disposal. Thought to have been used for British practice runs during the war, the bomb still contained internal wiring. Fortunately, the device was not found to hold any explosive material.

Flight Lieutenant Donald Earl, an RAF Wittering spokesman, urges the public to alert authorities to any such objects found rather than trying to move them. He points out that this particular finding is a bit unusual:

“We find a lot of bombs in Afghanistan with metal detectors but we don’t tend to find them in the UK.”

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Old Advertisements….before the days of the “offending someone”….


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Message to Obama from the North Pole…..


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Christmas Day 1902 recordings may be earliest, say curators……


Christmas Day 1902 recordings may be earliest, say curators

Curators at the Museum of London have discovered what they believe to be the first ever recordings of a family Christmas.

They were made 110 years ago by the Wall family who lived in New Southgate in North London.

There are 24 clear recordings on wax cylinders which were made using a phonograph machine between 1902 and 1917.

Music curators say the sound quality of the music recorded is outstanding.

Listen to recording Here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20791473

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Babies wearing Santa Hats….cute


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Did you know this about Christmas?……


There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me. What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won’t come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?

This week, I found out.

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.-

-Four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

-Five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

-Six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

-Eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

-Ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

-Eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

-Twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

So there is your history for today. This knowledge was shared with me and I found it interesting and enlightening and now I know how that strange song became a Christmas Carol…so pass it on if you wish.’

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CHRISTMAS AT ARLINGTON CEMETERY…………..


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Rest easy, sleep well my brothers.

Know the line has held, your job is done.

Rest easy, sleep well.

Others have taken up where you fell, the line has held.

Peace, peace, and farewell…

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Readers may be interested to know that these wreaths  — some 5,000 — are donated by the Worcester Wreath Co. of Harrington, Maine  . The owner, Merrill Worcester, not only provides the wreaths, but covers the trucking expense as well. He’s done this since 1992. A  wonderful guy. Also, most years, groups of Maine school kids combine an educational trip to DC with this event to help out. Making this even more remarkable is the fact that Harrington is in one of the poorest parts of the state.

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Christmas Lights around the Nation……


Eric-Holden

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