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Santa Claus came to our house this evening. He was a week early, but right on time.

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Some friends of ours from Arkansas, Dave and Nicole Trudo, called a few days ago and said that they were sending a box filled-with-goodies to us and that it was going to be delivered in a special way... and boy, they weren’t kidding.


The Kris Kringle that showed up at our door wasn’t your ordinary shopping-mall Santa.

This one was the real deal... or as close to it as I’ve ever personally seen. He had the real beard, the real belly, and on top of that, he had the kindest smile and a heart for special babies and mamas with no hair... I loved him from the moment I met him.


Our little Indiana took a little longer to warm up to him...

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When the presents were opened and his work was through, Santa found a spot next to Joey and made himself at homejust like an old friend. He said he knew our music (I had no idea Santa was a country music fan) and was a little nervous about coming to see us this eveningnot knowing what to expector if Joey would be up for their visit. But I think once he saw my bride sitting on the couch and smiling when he came in, and enjoying the evening... he settled in and hopefully had as good a time as we did.


He and Joey and I talked together for a long, long time.


It turned out our Santa is retired military and used to be in law enforcementapprehending bad guys. Then sometime after he retired, he found his true calling. Love.


He told us that “you haven’t lived ‘til you’ve found a job that allows you to give something back.” He said he takes his job very seriously... he’s even been to Santa schooltwice. And from Thanksgiving to January 1st each year, he spreads Christmas cheer and delivers presents all over Indiana to good little boys and girlsfrom pre-school age ones like Indy, to the elderly folks in retirement homes.


While Joey and I and Santa talked, Mrs. Claus had a nice visit with Joey’s mama June.

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I didn’t know until tonight that Santa’s a bit of a snowbird. When the New Year is over, he said that he and his Mrs. will head to Florida like they do each year to spend the winter on the beach in Clearwater. I can’t say I blame themthe icy wind was mighty cold up here in Indiana today.


Before Santa headed out for more deliveries, we gathered together for one last picture.

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What a blessing this evening was. Indy’s first time to meet Santa Claus... and Joey and I’s first chance to get to know him a little better.


With all the wonderful gifts that Santa (and the Trudo’s) brought, our little baby really only cared about one... the big box the presents came in. She found a spot in the bubble wrap and paper and just read her books and played ‘til she was worn out and ready for bed.

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What a beautiful way to kick off the week leading up to Christmas.


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