SANTA’S NEW RIDE

My husband subscribes to GANews and I was just noting the cover on the December ’06 issue. Jolly Old St. Nick was shown standing beside a red Mooney. That prompted me to tell you about our “airborne Santa.”

We have a large choose-and-cut Christmas tree farm here in the southeast corner of Michigan between Detroit and Toledo, Ohio. Our weekends at Christmas season are full of fun stuff — hay rides, crafts, live entertainment and, of course, Santa Claus. We have two Santas — one for Saturday and one for Sunday. Our Saturday guy is a registered nurse as well as a chef. Having been a drama student in high school helps him in his depiction of Santa, but he is inclined to be dramatic in his entire portrayal. He has “appeared” in a red convertible and a red fire truck. For three years now he has arrived on the Festival Weekend courtesy of a Life Flight helicopter!

In the early fall Chuck asked if my husband still had his airstrip here on the farm. Although it’s still there, he had planted evergreens on the ends so, no, he really hasn’t an airstrip. Then Chuck told me had a doctor friend who has a plane and would have delivered him. So I suggested he could parachute out but he nixed that suggestion immediately. What he reported next is that due to his connection to doctors, nurses and hospitals, a Life Flight helicopter would be dropping him off! All they wanted for this service was some publicity, so we worked on that. Then, with his connection to the Ida Volunteer Fire Department, we had them here to cordon off the area, an exercise in security for them.

The second year a light fresh snow was on the ground and, as the helicopter came down, the wind created a virtual snow storm — and then, almost magically, Santa stepped out of the helicopter to greet the enthusiastic customers, friends and neighbors who had come “to see.”

It’s a neat experience — you oughta be here!

PEG MATTHES

Matthes Evergreen Farm

Ida, Michigan

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