How You Can Save Christmas: Operation Santa Claus

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Tis The Season

(NOTE: The N.Y. Times reported on Thursday, December 18th, that Operation Santa Clause is being temporarily suspended because they became aware that a convicted child molester was participating. They immediately closed it down in N.Y. city and across the nation. Steps are being taken to illimnate this problem and N.Y. is expected to resume in a few days. It is not known how long it will take other post offices to resume this worthwhile program, or even if they will. Follow the N.Y. Times link above to read the story. I was alerted to this fact by fellow hubber jaimelinus0316.)

Back to our regularly scheduled program...

I stepped out from the revolving door of my office into the brisk afternoon and there it was as always during the holiday season, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, towering over the ice skaters, little living snowflakes in the sunken rink. People milled around the plaza in packs, staring at the 8o foot Norway Spruce with it's 5 miles of lights, so large that you couldn't find one in the woods growing that tall, but only planted in a person's front yard and nurtured for 70 years. So they search by helicopter and cut down somebody's ornamental spruce in Connecticut or Vermont or Ohio or New Jersey or even Ottawa, shipping it whole to midtown Manhattan so the tourists can stand there and look up into the sky with their mouths open like turkeys in the rain, their gaze moving first up the tree, then to the buildings, then back to the tree, then buildings, then up there somewhere at whatever it was tourists looked at up there.

To the locals, this yearly raid of tourists was a tremendous curse. We were trying to get to work in our normal, furtive New York pace, and tourists are everywhere, lolly-gagging around and looking to the sky. But it is impossible not to get into the Christmas spirit in Manhattan, for me at least, and so there I stood stupidly grinning like the Tennessee rube I actually was, staring at the tree, then the buildings, then tree, then buildings, and then up there at whatever it was they were staring at up there. This year would be special. I was going to be Santa, and I was on my way to get my list.

Macy's Christmas Windows
Macy's Christmas Windows

Extra, Extra, Read All About It

 

I read about it in the morning paper. Operation Santa Claus started informally in the early 1920s by a small group of postal clerks. They began to answer the Dear Santa letters, pooling their money to purchase the gifts. The letters sat doomed in the dead-letter office, rescued only by the last-second grab of a clerk, like a child's hopes saved from crashing on the rocks below by a stranger with a quick hand. The number of letters grew and the public was asked to help.

The letters come from all over the world, largely due to the popularity of the classic film "Miracle on 34th. Street," which depicts the New York Post Office delivering thousands of kids' Christmas s letters to the courthouse. Just like in the movie, most of the letters are simply addressed "Santa Claus," or "Santa Clause, North Pole," or "Santa Claus, New York."

I dodged my way through the people. Most were in the middle of their New York Christmas window walk, ooo’s and ahh’s saved up in Union and Springfield and Peoria and freely dispensed in the big city. The people begin at Macy's and slowly make their way uptown, careful to hit the big boys: Bloomingdales, Lord and Taylor, Bergdorf Goodman, and Barney's, with the Rockefeller Plaza tree figuring in there somewhere, usually right after the windows of Saks Fifth Avenue.

 

 

U.S. General Post Office
U.S. General Post Office

Neither Snow Nor Rain

 

I  zigzagged along a street and then down an avenue, street, avenue, and so on, making my way west and downtown until I hit 8th ave., then straight down to 33rd street. The random snow flakes from a flurry melted on my face and disappeared on the pavement, leaving only a glassy sheen.  And there it stood, the U.S. General Post office. The mother of all US post offices. Zip code 10001.

 With it’s broad shoulders and massive eight-acre footprint over 2 full city blocks,  the building was both imposing and protective. Above the longest Corinthian Colonnade in the world were carved the famous words;  Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. Not the post office motto as it turns out, but romantic never the less.

 

U.S. General Post Office entrance
U.S. General Post Office entrance

Letters To Santa

I made my way up the unbroken flight of steps stretching the full length of the colonnade and entered the whirling-dervish revolving door, a tiny porthole between two of the massive columns, emerging into the warmth of the classical hall. Several people stood around a central table reading letters. More sat in chairs with a small stack of papers in their laps and still more people sat along the walls, their knapsacks, backpacks, purses, dance bags, and briefcases next to them on the floor.

Picking up some of the letters, I began to read...and read...and read. When the first tear overflowed and streamed down my cheek, I unobtrusively looked to see if anyone had noticed. Not only had they not, but many had wet faces themselves and others choked back bittersweet teardrops. But it was beautiful too, and occasionally someone would read a sentence aloud to the group, “This little girl asked for some tennis shoes and a tiara,” and “Here’s a kid wants a couple a pairs of jeans and shirts cause everything he’s got has holes, and maybe something nice for his ma,” and we would chuckle or sigh, all members of an orchestra, synchronized, playing the symphony of life, the pretty part. In the middle of Manhattan. Bedford Falls on steroids.

Reading the letters was like looking deep into a secret place. Straight down into a child’s heart, their wishes and dreams revealed, and it was in your power to make them come true, even if only for one day. The fact that we were strangers deepened the connection with the mystery kids, and where at first you looked at the words with a calculated detachment, you soon were sucked down into the letters and into a foreign world where there was no Christmas turkey and the heat had been cut off days ago. You could literally save Christmas for a family. That’s a heady feeling. Eventually I chose two letters - a boy and a girl - and tore myself away, emotionally exhausted and teary.

Santa Goes Shopping

A shopper I am not. But on this occasion I shopped with a passion foreign to me. I was fortunate that midtown had 4 or 5 “odd lot” type stores very near each other, and I went to them all, carrying my lists and carefully choosing my gifts. The boy had asked for school items - notebooks, pencils, pens and whatever else Santa thought might be needed for the well equipped schoolboy, and a small teddy bear for his little brother. I put together a book shoulder bag that would make an adult drool, and his kid brother got a teddy bear that wasn’t so small. The little girl needed a winter coat because “it was cold,” and I took no end of pleasure in choosing her coat, jacket, sweaters, sweat shirts, some jeans, and a nice pair of sneakers. And they both got more stuff that wasn’t on their lists but just looked fun. I had only spent about $100.00.

At home, I took pictures of each gift before I packed the boxes, remembering the girl’s last second request, added at the end of her letter as an afterthought, “Oh, yes, and a pony!” As it happened, I had won a rather spectacular stuffed pony at Coney Island just a couple of months before so into the box it went. Later, I would make copies of the pictures and letters and give a set to each member of my family on Christmas morning back in the midwest, informing them that “they” had adopted two needy kids for the holidays.

The Meaning Of Christmas

Was this charity? It didn’t seem right somehow, that I should get so much joy and fulfillment from this simple act. Wasn’t charity and “do-gooding” supposed to be more...inconvenient? More of a sacrifice on my part? The benevolence and benefits couldn’t be denied, but still, I think I must have liked sending the gifts as much as the kids liked getting them. I felt good. I felt righteous. I may have saved their Christmas’, but in a very real way they had saved mine.

My family loved the letters and pictures. They read parts aloud and laughed with watery eyes and looked at the pictures and they glowed, feeling, I knew, the same as me, the same as everyone in the post office that first day. It was then I truly realized the far-reaching impact of this simple act, touching the children, their parents, myself, and now my family members. Over the next few years I took 6 letters every time (the maximum for an individual) and every year my family asked for the letters first on Christmas morning before any other gifts had been opened. It didn’t matter that the money I spent on gifts for my family became less and less as more and more went to the kids. They didn’t notice or didn’t care, because I was now giving them the best gift they had ever gotten, and their excitement, their anticipation never lessened.

Yes, Virgina, There Is a Santa Claus

That was 20 years ago, when the post office received about 5000 Dear Santa letters. This year the total is expected to reach 200,000. With the state of the economy, the number of persons “adopting” these kids for Christmas is expected to decline. When I moved back to the midwest, I thought I could not participate any longer and not a Christmas has gone by that I haven’t thought about those kids, vowing that next year I was going to do something about it. And I am. Starting tomorrow. 

Beginning in 2006, Operation Santa Claus began expanding to other cities throughout the U.S. I’m going to call my post office and ask if they have the Santa program, and if they don’t I’m going to ask what I can do to help get it started. And then I’m going to contact organizations like Rotary Clubs, Knights of Columbus, corporations and schools and ask them to participate. An organization can take up to 100 letters.

And then I’m going to ask you, dear reader, to do the same where you live. For the kids, yes, of course - after all there are still kids who have little or no hope for Christmas, who have holes in their clothes, who need school supplies and winter jackets, whose heat has been shut off, and some sweet little girl who wants a pony - but for yourselves, for your karma, for your soul. You wont regret it. You’ll not only save a child’s Christmas, but you just might save your own. Merry Christmas!

Operation Santa Claus Guidelines

Please contact your local postmaster to see if Operation Santa Claus is available in your area at this time.

All "Dear Santa" letters are to be picked up at a post office in person. There is a limit of 6 letters per person - no appointment necessary, and 100 for companies and organizations by appointment only.

All “Dear Santa” helpers must agree with the USPS Privacy Act Statement listed on the PS Form 6012-1 (Operation Santa Letter Adoption Individual) and PS Form 6012 (Operation Santa Letter Adoption Third Party).

All “Dear Santa” helpers are required to show one piece of acceptable identification. Please visit the Operation Santa Claus website at: http://www.operationlettertosanta.com/index.htm

For another fine article, please read Charitable Giving; When Is It Wrong? by Sally’s Trove, who suggested I write this story.

More by this Author


Comments 108 comments

gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 7 years ago from Oklahoma

CR, I see you got to work and got this finished. I was on my way to bed when I seen that it was publishe by you, I will have to come back in the morning to read it. Goodnight CR, and sweet dreams.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

I'm looking forward to it. Sleep well.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Proving once again (and beautifully, I might add): it's better to give than receive! You paint an enchanting picture of NYC at holiday time (no mention of the ice skaters in the shadow of that behemoth tree, but I forgive you:-). I particularly love that you shared your "covert operations" with your family -- what a nice holiday tradition!

We had a similar program here a few years ago but it seems to have disappeared. We still talk about shopping for "our" family. I'm officially inspired to ask the PO to reinstate it. Thanks for setting the tone for the season, Christoph. Hugs, MM


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Thanks, MM. I appreciate your high compliments! You know, I thought about the ice skaters. Maybe I'll put them in - just a mention (thing is, I can't ice skate and I don't like people who can).

I wonder if your program was the same one? You know, in all the years I've lived back here, I have never heard one thing about it. That's part of my mission. To publicise it. That is if it exsits here or if I can do something to start it. I would be honored if I inspired you enough to call your PO and find out what's going on.

Thank you again! You're a dear!


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Mr.President - I read somewhere that in the 30's when the great depression took place to cheer the public the Coke company dressed the santa with red/white dress and since then the santa clause dress has remained the same colors is it true?

http://www.xomba.com/coca_cola_created_santa_claus


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

CW: I know that our modern image of Santa Claus (like in these pictures) was in fact started by Coca Cola. Whether it was during the depression I don't know. So, it is at least partly true.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Thanks for the confirmation. May God bless you for such noble charitable acts. I always admire such generosity (a true leo quality). May their be more of your tribe in this world.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

CW: Thank you for your kind words. May there be more people with your gentleness and heart.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Oh thank you thank you.... Iam so touched. You really know how to charm others with your kind words.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 7 years ago from Australia

Hey cut it out you big papoose, you trying to spoil our image as tough guys. ( Hand on I'll get a tissue got somethin' in my eye). (Blow) Ah that's better!

Now seriously that is a great story, the person who started that should get the Nobel Peace Prize or sumpin!

Over here we have the Kmart Christmas tree at each store for presents, but nothing that I know of so personal.

Good work grasshopper!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Thank you, master. Your sun of hope shines through the dark sky on all the world.

You know, there's a lot of writer's liberty with this story, like, I never had a tear in my eye, no way. In fact, I never even lived in NY. I made all that up. Never heard about this program before today, so just pass me a beer and let's go play rugby or somethin'.

But seriously, thanks for the compliments. I appreciate it.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

I'm guilty of having 'lolly gagged' around there too many moons ago :D

Christoph, you're all heart under that courtly demeanour! What a wonderful thought - no, we don't have a Santa program in our poor overworked post offices - but what's to stop us from picking six poor kids to shine the warmth of Christmas love on? And warm our own hearts while we do it - thanks again and God Bless!


KT pdx profile image

KT pdx 7 years ago from Vancouver, WA, USA

We have "Trees of Giving" around here, where you pick a tag with a child's wish on it and buy a gift for them. I do those, but I'd also like to do a Santa letter gift, now that I know about it! :)


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK

We have 'shoeboxes for Rumania' here. Churches, kids at primary school, and other orgainisations get together to fill shoeboxes with small gifts suitable for a family who are struggling at Christmas. They all get shipped off to far-flung places where even a tube of toothpaste and a box of elastoplast are very welcome and sought after presents. I've often taken the kids shopping for 'shoe-box' gifts, and we've all taken pleasure from squeezing as many little items in as possible.

What a lovely, heart-warming hub Chris. Well done you.


pgrundy 7 years ago

What a great hub. This year, even more than previous ones, I think it's a good idea to think of what we can do for other people at Christmas. It's going to be a rough one I think. Thank you Christoph. This was well-written, thoughtful, and actually very helpful. We can all do something and we should.


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 7 years ago from Virginia

This hub is a true inspiration to what Christmas is all about. I hadn't heard of this program, and I'm so happy you shared it with everyone because it will be very helpful in getting the same type of program set up in other areas.

Gosh, what a beautiful tear-jerker. *grabbing Ag's tissue, blowing nose, handing it back*


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 7 years ago from Oklahoma

CR, I am so very glad that I came here this morning and read this hub. You brought a tear to my eye and brought a warmth to my heart. You have inspired me to give this year. I do not believe that our post office has opertation Santa Calus, but we do have angel trees, I have always wanted to be able to grab one of those little angel ornaments with the wishes of a child and buy them the things they have needed, but We have struggled the last few years and I was unable to do that. My husband now has a good job that gives great Christmas bonuses and I am confident that I will be able to choose more than one name from the angel tree this year. Thanks CR, for writing this and passing on the gift of giving.


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 7 years ago from Oklahoma

I forgot to add that we also have an angel tree for the elderly in nursing homes. Some of these elderly people may not have family that are able to give them basic supplies. I remember looking at one two or three years ago and the list had things like house shoes, socks and maybe a throw blanket. I think it would be wonderful to be able to provide for them too. Also It just occurred to me to let my children each choose a name from the trees and let them do the shopping for the names they have chosen. It is good for children to learn about charity at a young age.


Leta S 7 years ago

Cool, Cristoph--

Good writing, too, just the right tone--with feeling but not sentimental in any bad way. I think it shows the spirit of New York those who haven't been there don't know about.

I have my own romantic thing about that mammoth post office--everybody running up the stairs in the spring during a surprise storm--it is in the back of my mind to write about sometime.

And tourists gaping like turkeys, hehe. Yes. You know they are annoying because they hold up the flow of walkers, but also, yep, you yourself don't want to look like some rube from the Midwest--that you actually are (me, too!).

I was a volunteer/coordinator with those Angel Tree programs in the Midwest for quite a few years, like everyone is talking about. I doubt there is much like these programs where I live now, sigh. But I do have contacts with the local papers, here, ;), so maybe I'll write a letter to editors concerning your Santa program.

:)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Shalini Kagal: Why, if I had known it was you lolly-gagging around there, I would've said hi! I think that a great idea you have. Nothing to stop you at all. Thanks for stopping by for a read and leaving a comment.

KT: It would be great if you did a letter, but it sounds as though "Trees of Giving" is also worthwhile. Thanks so much for your consideration and comment.

Amanda: Thanks so much. The shoeboxes sound like fun, you gotta tell me though, what's elastoplast? There are so many worthwhile charities, it's hard to choose one. I'm glad you and your family get so much fun and fulfillment out of your program. Peace!

pgrundy: Thanks for taking the time to visit. I think it is going to be a rough one for people and the charities that help them, too. It makes me want to help however I can, though I have nothing. There is more than spending money, which is one reason I like this one: you can spend very little and still achieve very much. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! (I'll have to go look at what I wrote on your "Writing for self" hub - it was late and I wondering if it made any sense. Ha!).

Pam R: Thanks for stopping in to say hello. I'm glad I was able to share this information with you. Hope I didn't jerk any of your tears too hard and hurt you. Always a pleasure to see you, Pam.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Was this an oversight? You skipped reply to our good Gwendy and sweet Lita..hehe


Leta S 7 years ago

CW:

I'm just here online waiting for an e-mail from an E-bayer... Could be cuz I'm not so sweet! Ha! No... I'll bet because it takes a while to come up with sincere stuff that fits everyone who writes comments. :)


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Lita - I understand Christoph really puts a serious thought behind every reply and must be busy to reply to all at once. I was just having some innocent fun by calling him out...LOL

Btw good luck on that email from ebay and don't let their lack of good taste change your opinion of being "sweet" or not(which Iam sure we all agree that you are the sweetest)..hehe


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

No, CW. I'm workin' on it. Geez!

Gwendy: So glad to see you (for a change) and happy that I have warmed your heart. I think your tree ornaments charity are a great idea, and also great to get your kids involved. You're right about teaching them about charity when they're young, and there are a lot of other lessens associated with it too.

I think the point I am trying to make is this was meaningful to me and it made me feel good - in addition to the good it did for the kids - so if you want to feel really good, then think about doing this. It's so very personal.

Thanks again for stopping by and your heartfelt comments. If I could I'd pinch your cheek I would - just for being a cutie (pinch).

Lita: Thanks for coming by and all your kind words. You are making quite an impact around here, I see. You know, when I started writing this I had every intention to be manipulative and make as many people bawl their eyes out as I could - sort of like a writing exercise, but it didn't come out that way. It sort of took its tone by itself. Anyway, something like that. Glad you said that about the spirit of New York. I wasn't sure. There was so much I wanted to write about that, but felt like I had to move on to what the thing was actually about.

And the same goes for the building. I can see the picture you describe - people running up the stairs into the behemoth to escape the rain. I wanted to write more about the architecture and the inside too, which is beautiful.

That's kind of what I'm doing, with press releases to papers and getting some publicity for the program. Thank you again for the hello and your thoughtful comments.

CW: Glad to see you are keeping up with my correspondence and not letting me inadvertantly miss someone. You are doing a fantastic job! (he, he)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

So there!


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 7 years ago from Oklahoma

lol! your too cute! I am glad that it made you feel good to give Chris, you deserve it. You are such a wonderful caring person, I think your the best!


Candace Morgan profile image

Candace Morgan 7 years ago from New York

Thanks so much for this Hub. Nicely done.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Ofcourse I have to keep an eye on our Mr.President for My Lady...LOL


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

No, you're the best.....no, you are.....no, you are....


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 7 years ago from Oklahoma

roflmao, no you are! CW might be, she keeps us in line, and well, we could all use that.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Candace: Thank you for using some of your time to read this and leave a nice comment. Glad you liked it!


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 7 years ago from Oklahoma

Hey did you guys know that you are first page of hot hubs! CR #3 and CW #9 congrats guys!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

GM: I had no idea. Whatever for? I'll go look.


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 7 years ago from Oklahoma

Cr, yours is for your doll hub and CW's is for her California trip.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Gwendy - I was the class monitor in school and keeping the students in line was part of my job (but how did you know that)..hehe

Btw hope you are feeling fine now and has your sister recovered?

Congrats Christoph for making it to the top. You deserve it and here is a small song to you from all of us: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iArJm9gBvg


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

That Doll one keeps coming back. MM and Pam Roberson are on it too! We rule the roost. Maybe your trip/Goddess of deer hub will be there soon!


vrajavala profile image

vrajavala 7 years ago from Port St. Lucie

I heard that Obama doesn't give gifts at Christmas. Rev Manning has posted a youtbe of this and a sermon "God save Christmas" we don't know much about this newly elected man, so hopefully, he will still continue the traditionof having a christmas tree at the White House. What do you think?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doChINcDTJU


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Gwendy - Thanks for the info. Like Christoph I also think dear your deer will be there too very soon. I never knew my california trip would get so famous(Now I will start my las vegas trip)...hehe

Christoph - From now on you maybe called the "Doll Man"...LOL

Vrajavala - I think Obama would continue the tradition. He isn't a closet muslim like some of us tend to believe that he is.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

GM: You're so silly. That's what everyone sings when I tell them you're in love with me! How did you know?

vrajavela: What do I think? I think that you are probably posting this same message on any hub you can find with a Christmas theme to promote an anti-Obama  campaign - a subtle form of terrorism. I'm going to leave your first message for all to see, but I will not approve any more of this stuff, which seems off topic to me. If you want to comment about the article or the pro's and con's of charitable giving, then I welcome you here.


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 7 years ago from Oklahoma

CR, I doubt that it will evr make t the hot hubs, but that's ok. I just wrote it to share, I was a little traumatized by the whole thing. LOL. I'll get over it someday.

CW, I am feeling much better. I got to talk to her this morning and she is doing great! Thanks for asking.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Gwendy: I'm glad to hear it too. Sorry I didn't ask. I know you had a lot going on emotionally the last week.

CW: Why didn't you remind me to ask? You can call me the Doll man. People wouldn't know it was about sex dolls. They'd just think in terms of "He's such a doll!"


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 7 years ago from Oklahoma

LOL, Don't worry about it CR. I am just glad it's over and that she is well. It was very scary and she almost didn't make it, but when she started to get better she got better very fast, it was crazy.

The doll man is a good name for you, cuz you are such a doll.

Actually I hope that if one of my hubs makes it to hot hubs I hope it is Rose hill house.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Gwendy - Nice to know things are returning back to normalcy. I didn't get the context of christoph's statement "That's what everyone sings when I tell them you're in love with me! How did you know?" Am I missing something here...hehe

Christoph - I guess for generations to come when in the future a perfect specimen needs to be picked out you may be called exactly that "he's such a doll". I have to go and inform madame tussauds to start her wax replica soon....LOL


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

GM: What is that one? Is it new? I haven't read it so I must!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

CW: Those are the lyrics of the song you linked to. He is singing that everyone says congratulations to him when he tells them that "you're in love with me." Heck, it's your song!

I thought you were telling me through the song because you are too shy and a proper Indian girl to say it outright!


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 7 years ago from Oklahoma

CW, I was confused too but didn't ask. LOL.

CR, I published it yesterday. here's the link, hope you don't mind me posting it here.

http://hubpages.com/politics/Rose-Hill-House

Ok, sorry, maybe we are just slow today. LOL!


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Christoph - I can be pretty dumb at times. I just posted that song to mean congratulations and didn't imagine you will be so into the song with Gwendy....LOL Btw have you received any call from Madame....

Gwendy - I will also have to check that out.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

GM: Thanks for posting the link. I'll read it.


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 7 years ago from Oklahoma

CW, I am glad that we had the confusion, I laughed so hard I actually snorted (like Spryte) I miss her and wish she would get her ass back on here.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Cw: I think Gwendy was confused by my response, not the song. I wasn't confused and figured you only meant the congratulations part, so I was just teasing you because it's fun, so there is no reason to sic Madam on me!!!!!

Oh, about Spryte. Yea!


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Chrisoph - You have been watching too many Indian movies. Ok here is a practical incident it happened in Hyde park in london: An Indian couple were sitting on a bench and a britisher was intently staring at the couple. The Indian guy walked upto him and asked for the reason. The britisher replied I have seen Indian movies and whenever a boy and a girl stare into each others eyes they break into a song and I was waiting for one...LOL

Even if I am desparate I will never be the one to acknowledge it first. I would still want my guy to be a man enough to propose to me...hehe


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 7 years ago from Oklahoma

roflmao, I love you people, you guys are the best!

Let's just all break out into song, we can have a musical hub.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

La - ti - dah! I rented some Bollywood movies once. Sorry to say I was disappointed. First, the movies were about 4 hours long each. You Indians really want your moneys worth. Secondly, I really only wanted to see the kind of jazzed up traditional Indian dance that I find facinating. If they are just going to dance like us, then I prefer American films. Of course, it is probably just the opposite for Indians, who want to see the western stuff.


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 7 years ago from Oklahoma

Here CR, this is from a movie called Bride and Prejudice, My oldest daughter loved this movie and watched it time and time again. I think you will enjoy it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocNFQioWM5c

btw, yes, that is the guy from Lost.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Christoph - There are two kinds of movies (Commercial and Parallel/Art). Most of the Indians who go to the theatre want to forget their daily existence and see the beautiful locales, songs and dances (and have a fairy tale ending). But some movies are really thought proviking which are for the critiques and other serious movie buffs. If you would like to have a list of the serious type then I can suggest you a few movies (Even American movies which have sad ending usually don't fare well in India). Indians like movies to be out and out entertaining with jokes, songs, dances, fights and so on. Btw Indian movies have one or two breaks during the movie hence it doesn't seem so long in theatres.

Gwendy - Thanks for that link. Now I can be a choreographer for you guys to break into a song and dance...LOL


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 7 years ago from Oklahoma

CW, I am pretty sure my body doesn't move like that anymore. LOL. But you can try if you want.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

GM: Thanks for the link. I'll go take a look later. I'll have to split soon. Is it an Indian type thing?

Countrywomen: I didn't' explain myself very well. I didn't mean I didn't like the subject matter or that it was a lighthearted musical. In fact, I like that stuff. What I mean't was that when they do the musical numbers, I want to see the dancing that looks Indian, wearing traditional Indian dress. Not dancing in the same style as American musicals. Do you follow.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Gwendy - Don't under estimate the charm of Christoph. Once you are in his arms he will sweep you off your feet and sway you to the rhythm of the song.

Christoph - Yes Indians love the western steps (you won't believe how many wannabe Michael Jacksons are there in Inda). Nobody wants to see their "Idols" wearing the same clothes as they do in their regular daily life. Btw if they are in foreign locales they tend to dress more trendy to suit the local background. Most of the Indians must have never seen the American musicals and if they are good steps then our choreographers just latch on to them...LOL


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 7 years ago from Oklahoma

CR, it is a punjabi wedding song and dance. I am not sure if it is a traditional thing or not. But it has beautiful and colorful clothing and dancing. I think you will like it.

CW, I know that CR is such a charmer.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK

Hi Chris,

Elastoplast are sticking plasters for cuts and grazes. Apparently things are so dire in parts of Rumania that receiving Elastoplast, disposable razors, soap, and so on is seen as a major treat!


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 7 years ago from Oklahoma

CR, hope to see you out and about later. hagd.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Gwendy - What is hagd?


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 7 years ago from Oklahoma

oh, sorry it stands for have a good day, just shortened for text messages or chatting.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Ladies, it is I who have been charmed by your grace and feminine beauty.

OK. I watched the clip. Yes, that is more like what I am talking about (although that scene is a little too frantic to get the full effect).

CW: As i suspected; what is new to the Indians is old to us, and vice versa. I would like to see Bollywood turn out a musical film meant for an American audience (not of Indian descent), and just fill it up with the traditional Indian moves with the hands and the heads going back and forth over the shoulders without the body moving (which I can do quite well but cannot explain.)


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 7 years ago from Oklahoma

Roflmao, your so cute CR, seriosly. I can just imagine you doing that move. LOL.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

CW: I didn't know what hagd was either. Glad you asked. Gwendy is all up on the kid's lingo!

GM: I have about 10 minutes, but I won't be gone too long I don't think. I kind of have a golf idea for the hubmob. I had done this research for the novel I am supposedly writing where the guy owns a private golf course. Of course, I'll have to do the research all over, but I know what I'm looking for.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Gwendy - Thanks for educating us. hagd to you too.

Christoph - Here is a link for traditional indian dance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=872LRkujZ3E

Ok guys I will have to get some work done. Bye take care.


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 7 years ago from Oklahoma

Lucky, I have been trying to think of something for the hubmob but haven't come up with too much. I think I might go with 10 signs that you are a golf widow or something along those lines. I don't know, it's just all yucky to me.

HAGD too, CW.

I have to be up on all that longo with three teenaged kids in the house.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

CW: Thanks for the link. i will check it out.

GW: The golf hubmob is just a thought right now - not my favorite subject either. Gotta run. Catch ya on the flip side!


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 7 years ago from Oklahoma

See ya!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Christoph, I was so looking forward to this Hub.  I believed that no one could write it just the right way but you.  Here's what I mean.  You were there and experienced the program first-hand.  You are compassionate and caring, and that's what this program is all about.  And I knew you would paint a picture of New York City that, let's say, is the other side of the perception coin.

When I was a suburban Jersey kid, NYC was my hangout, and later, entering into the job world, my beacon.  As the years have passed, and I have moved on, I still keep a tradition with some very special friends.  We go to New York at Christmas for a few days, take in the sights, skate a little under the tree, see a show, and relive the magic of our youth.  This year, the post office is on my itinerary.

I love what you said about the meaning of Christmas.  That's what giving is all about.  Yes, you are supposed to feel good.  The feeling good is the celebration of the simple act given from the heart.

Your fan, Sally.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Sally: Thanks for stopping by and your always thoughtful comments. Of course, I could not write this without thinking of you and I hope people will follow the link to your charitable giving hub. I hope also that this met - at least somewhat - your expectations and high standards.

I wish I could go back to NY for a visit soon. I envy you that. Writing about it made me think about all the things I truly loved about it. I don't know if going to see the the post office is worth the effort. It's nice and all but there are so many other things. I would say if you're in the neighborhood, why not drop in.

Thank you again, Sally. You know how I respect your opinion. It is always a delight to see you have read one of my articles.

Thank you.


spryte profile image

spryte 7 years ago from Arizona, USA

Arriving late! Actually...I thought I was arriving on time, since I just got the email about this hub and wow...look at all the responses you've gotten so far!

This hub is a great reminder of what Christmas is really all about. Not necessarily "the kids"...but the spirit of giving and being able to keep the magic of it all alive in the hearts of everyone.

It's a wonderful feeling to wrap gifts for somebody you don't know and imagine the look on their faces on Christmas morning. Thanks for the reminder!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Christoph, this is the first hub in a long time that brought a tear to my eye. What a lovely idea, and I would participate if it weren't for the fact we don't really have underprivileged children over here, well not by the standards of other countries in any case. I kind of object to what they do locally such as 'Help a Guernsey Child' week, because the local children don't really need help, and the ones that do, have lazy parents who live in Council houses and get away with continually producing children so they get higher benefits financially, whilst not bothering to work themselves. Your system is so much better, and helps the truly need children, (as I would happily do if we had a system such as this for other country's children). I would suggest they do it, but for the fact I know they would insist on the gifts going to local children instead, and believe me, they are highly privileged compared to many.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Spryte: How very nice to see you. You've been so scarce! Glad you read this and that it reminded you of the Christmas spirit, which I guess I can count as a success. I think you are right about the kids being "someone you don't know." It is one thing to relive Christmas through our own childrens eyes, or neices or nephews, but when it's a stranger in need, well, you can just imagine their faces on Christmas when they weren't expecting to get anything. There is a real joy there bigger somehow than a child simply being happy because they got a gift. There's an "old Hollywood movie" aspect to it or an O'Henry story quality. Something.

Again, thanks for dropping in and for your thoughtful comment.

Misty: Glad you were touched by my humble article. We have our share of welfare fraud here too, but a lot of it is legitimate, and the children are certainly not to blame. Sorry you don't have such a program in Guernsey, but it's good that you don't need one. Thankyou for reading this and commenting!


ajcor profile image

ajcor 7 years ago from NSW. Australia

Christoph - Thank you for this timely message - you really are a master wordsmith - such a beautiful hub with it's underlyingmessage of help to those children who really need a hand up. And who is to say that with your personal help these children will not grow up to do the same thing for others who in the future maybe in the same postion they are currently in - I know I always give to the legacy group (for children of servicemen who either did not return from the war or died as a result of the war) for this same reason.

Here we have many gift giving trees in shopping malls and plazas -but we also have a yearly gift giving operation for children in less fortunate circumstances called "Operation Shoebox" and millions of boxes are collected from all over the world and transported across the waters, collected from wharves and then driven up into the hinterlands of the various nations (Indonesia, PNG, Vietnam etc) to villages where they are distributed to the children. The whole idea is fantastic and people give brilliantly.

Amanda referenced it earlier in your comments and as she said the children are happy with little things such as toothpaste and toothbrush, soap, hair ribbons, nothing that melts or breaks as your gift/s will travel in it's little shoebox over some really rough terrain in the back of a jeep or truck to reach villages in midddle of nowhere - well somewhere but we know not where.

Have included the link for you.

http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/Pack_

cheers.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

ajcor: Thank you for coming by and your heartfelt comment. Your compliments overwhelm me. Your charity for the children of service men and women is a good and noble cause. We have similar oranizations here in the states.

The shoebox charity sounds wonderful also. It takes so little to make so many happy with things they really need and will help make their life a little easier. It takes many people who care to get that shoebox to its destination. A lot of teamwork.

Not to get too far off the subject, with all these doomsday religious hubs lately (I see you have put your two bob in, and I have a little bit also) I wonder why they are spending their time fearmongering when they should be banding together for good works such as these. That is what my God wants. It doesn't seem that complicated to me.

Thanks you again for your kind words. They mean a great deal to me.


ajcor profile image

ajcor 7 years ago from NSW. Australia

thanks Christoph - my brothers and sister (6 in all) were all legacy children - and so the wheel turns!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

yes it does, ajcor, yes it does.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Christoph - Did you get a chance to go through the Indian video clip I sent earlier?


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Yes i did, countrywomen. That is much more what I like. Now, keeping those same moves, they can jazz it up a little, broadway style, but yea, that's what I wanted to see. And in the big groups too. That's when it looks really cool to me!


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Christoph - Glad that you liked it. Here is another movie video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_caA9-8R6o


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Thanks, CW. I'll definitely look at it in a little while.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Christoph - Did you get a chance to go through the second Indian video clip I sent yesterday? I just hope you have a better opinion about our movies.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

CW: I didn't mean to give you the impression i didn't like your movies. I just meant I liked a certain type of the dancing and wanted to see more of it. But, yes, both of these clips are very nice and are examples of what I like. Thank you for posting the links. They were fun to watch.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Are you wondering why I am bugging you with followups? I just want people whom I like to have a better opinion about our background....hehe. We can be pretty creative in arts and music but due to the dictates of the market forces sometimes forced to copy successful formulas. Glad you liked both of them Iam sure you must be saying enough no more links instead of know more (with my nagging followups)...LOL


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Wonderful hub, Christof. You paint beautifully with words.

After reading this, I did a Google search to see if we have an Operation Santa Claus in Canada. According to Wiki ours started in 1974 in Montreal. That is the only search result that I've found so far (haven't knocked myself out yet). Apparently, all kids receive an answer in the language they send the letter in. The entry didn't say who sends them. Santa has his own special address in English and French and the postal code in H0H 0H0. It doesn't sound like the kids get any gifts, only replies to their letters.

All the other listings for Operation Santa Claus are for sending gifts to our deployed troops.

I can imagine how terrific this project would make you feel, and how surprised the kids are when they get what they asked Santa for. By the way, that is the biggest, stinking post office I have ever seen!

Kudos and good karma to you!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Don't be silly, CW. I have a very positive feeling toward India, it's people and customs. You, my dear, are a the perfect representative of the Indian people. You can post here anytime!

Shirley: Thank you for visiting and your comments. Your charities sound great: I'm sure the kids love the letters and the troops always like getting things from home.

The post office IS big. It is rather impressive when you see it and, though I didn't get into it, very nice inside to, with intricate ceiling work, marble, etc.

Once again, thank you for your kind words.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Oh thank you thank you. I am so happy you feel that way about India. Iam way too ignorant to be a representative of India. Don't worry no more links till you are curious again. Btw have you seen the fanmail I sent?


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

I will contact our local post office on monday and see if they have operation santa. :)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Countywoman: I have not seen it and will surely go look!

AEvans: Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I think that would be wonderful and I know you will enjoy it.

CW: I just read your comment. How nice! I am flattered that you feel that way about me. Thank you for your never-ending kindnesses!


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Christoph - As they say its not what I say about you that should flatter you but the fact that I consider you worth flattering that should flatter you..LOL

Btw you deserve every bit of praise that comes your way. People who serve others always deserve to be appreciated(even writing a hub for so many people to know about such a noble santa venture is also an act of kindness).


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago

This left me in tears.  Actually, warm, fuzzy tears, if there is such a thing.  A beautifully written hub straight from the depths of your warm, caring heart.  Bless you.  I will be sharing this thought with my daughter because I believe my 7 yr old granddaughter would be thrilled to do something like this for less fortunate children.

Thanks so much for being such an inspiration.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

CW: Thank you. You are so nice!

Trish: What a very nice thing to say. It pleases me that I moved you, and you're other kind and generous words to me are overwhelming. Thank you.

I think it would be lovely for your daughter and grand daughter to do this or something like it. I know they would enjoy it. I hope the program exists in your area.

Again, thank you for your heartfelt comments. Always good to see you.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago

Chris,

Life gets so busy and out of control at times, we miss the important things.  I don't know why it seems this time of year brings out the best in people, but it does.  This is not to say people don't do nice things throughout the year, I'm sure they do, but for many, it's just getting through the day to day.  As the saying goes, this is a nice time to slow down and smell the roses :)

You're always welcome :)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Trish: Yes, Christmas brings out the best in a lot of people. Thanks.


C.S.Alexis profile image

C.S.Alexis 7 years ago from NW Indiana

Christoph,

I applaud you and your push to keep up your original idea and expand on it. We all should try to make our world a better place for those who are less fortunate. This hub brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing and BLESS YOU! Season's Greetings. C.S.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

C.S. Alexis: Glad you enjoyed it! I appreciate your kind words and for taking the time to write them here. Thanks!


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 7 years ago from USA

I was right there and enjoyed it all...it's wonderful to see giving hearts in action. What greater joy?

=)) sniffle.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

mariesue: Now, now, no sniffles. Thanks for coming by and for your generous words. A lot of people have read it. I hope it makes a difference. Thanks!


C.S.Alexis profile image

C.S.Alexis 7 years ago from NW Indiana

Christoph,

I am sure you have made a dent. Keep up the good work, it is all about the love.C.S.


jaimelinus0316 7 years ago


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

jaimelinus:  I don't believe I have ever cursed on Hubpages before, but...Holy Fuggin Shit!  Wow!  Stupid, sick mother f#&k!#& Assholes!  See what these shitheads can do to the rest of us?  We have to completely reorganize society and the ways that we have been doing things--in this case for 1oo years--because of all the sicko bastards out there!  I've had it with tolerance and rehabilitation!

I want to thank you for alerting me to this.  Otherwise I might never have known.  Well, at least it looks like it's only temporary.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but here I sit, stunned.  I wonder what the website is saying about it...if anything.  You can bet I'll be writing about this on my blog tonight, and suppose I'll put an update at the beginning of this article.  Now that I've vented my spleen, somebody pass the air freshener. Thanks!


ben221a 3 years ago

I am sure quite certain my body doesn't move like that any longer. But, still can try if you really want.


raquelle148 profile image

raquelle148 2 years ago

Four months to go before Christmas so more time to prepare.


benhungto profile image

benhungto 2 years ago from Vietnam

only 2 months to go


LosectinWinders 20 months ago

We had a similar program here a few years ago but it seems to have disappeared. We still talk about shopping for "our" family. I'm officially inspired to ask the PO to reinstate it. Thanks for setting the tone for the season, Christoph. Hugs,


rasine 7 months ago

get the movie s colleection here http://bollywoodboxofficecollections.in

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