Hello from the North Pole!
I want to take time before heading out on my annual sleigh ride to give a big thank you to some of the special folks of Paonia and the North Fork Valley who make our annual visits wonderful and very enjoyable. Mrs. Claus and I especially enjoyed this year's visit. We were overjoyed by the hospitality and, of course, all the children who came to see us.
First, I looked dashing thanks to Ron and Deb of Paonia Cleaners, who carefully cleaned my suit before I saw the kids (you know ... reindeer, packing gifts, milk, cookie crumbs).
Then starting at Lizzy's' Market, Steve Kossler of Mt. Lamborn Ranches and the Black Percheron team of Chip and Dale (Chip is the one with the white spot on his forehead) gave us a hayride around town and out to the Paonia Library and back. These wonderful draft horses are living reminders of your ranching heritage. Steve, along with Ross Allen of Allen Ranches, own the team and take very good care of them. (Hmmm, some of our loads are pretty heavy; I wonder if Chip and Dale can fly?!)
It takes quite a gaggle of folks to get these 2,000-pound animals ready for the annual hayride, so thanks also goes to Wendy Kossler, Beth Allen, John & Krissy Allen, and all the teenagers who helped folks on and off the hayride wagon and handed out candy canes. Many of the riders got off at the library to enjoy the Holiday Book Sale and annual Puppet Show before catching a ride back to Lizzy's.
We have so many people to thank.
Teresa Schneider, also known as the "Blue Angel," rang the Christmas bells in front of the Eccentric Artist Gallery letting folks know that Mrs. Claus and I had arrived. This was helpful, as we have so many places to be this time of year.
Tensi Plummer and friends decorated and lighted Poulos Park as Santa's Workshop, which made us feel right at home. Thomas Bachman of The Eccentric Artist Gallery hosted our visit and created a wonderful place for us to see the kids. I never get tired of listening to and being with the kids.
We are also grateful for our visit to The Hive Paonia's Christmas Bazaar. So many other wonderful events were going on in Paonia, but we only had so much time, as we had to prepare for the annual sleigh ride.
Oh dear, the time is drawing near. We truly appreciate all the effort it takes to welcome us to your town, and are sorry if we've missed anyone. You know who you are. We also send a special thanks to the local Chamber of Commerce, The Blue Sage and the Town of Paonia for facilitating our visit and coordinating the Christmas event. It seemed like the entire town was having a great time!
And a very special thanks to Mrs. Claus for remembering my glasses!
Merry Christmas and a blessed Christmas season to all!
Santa and Mrs. Claus