Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas everyone

As Christmas draws close and the final few hours are ticking off the clock I have to be honest I have been contemplating retiring as Fraser Valley Secret Santa after this holiday season for various reasons. Not knowing what impact I have had and needing to concentrate on my career that is in a spiral keep me guessing ! Then I think about the people that are or have been part of my life and the smiles they have created and I want to do more.its a tough choice to make, you all have made me feel incredible for what we have accomplished. One reason to stay,  I keep being flooded with emotion , thoughts of those who are here and those who are no longer here with us in body but in spirit. At this time of year I seem to always be thinking of my grandparents who were some of the best people I ever had the pleasure of meeting. I am grateful for all the life lessons they have instilled in me on how to be a decent person and how to be a man. I remember getting so excited at Christmas as a boy when I saw my grandparents arrive , how my grandpa could see through the window I will never know, remember the Griswalds and their Christmas tree ? Well that was my grandma but with presents! They would often make the journey from Vancouver island to spend the holidays with us in our home. Hope you don't mind but I wanted to tell you about one Christmas when I was young that I will never forget! Times were hard and my mom was sick, and for Christmas all this little man wanted was a blue 10 speed bike. I dreamed of this bike but I knew there was no money to get one. On Christmas morning I woke up and of course no bike , I opened my presents and the last one my grandpa have me was a was a model of a blue bike! Though dissapointed I thanked my grandpa and gave him a kiss and told him maybe next year! My grandpa said to me that day " that's the right attitude and I am so proud of you" my grandpa asked me about 10 minutes later if I would help him get the Turkey from the porch so mom could get it ready for dinner! We walked out on the porch and there with a big red bow was a Blue 10 speed bike with the shiniest wire wheels you have ever seen . ( I am not afraid to admit that I have a tear in my eye as I am writing this ) I rode that bike everyday I washed it , polished it and appreciated that bike like no ones business. Take the time and try and recall your most Favorite memory and hold on to it. I miss my grandparents but their memory will always be present as long as I live! Enjoy the time you get to spend with your family this holiday season, create your own memories, you never know it could be one that lasts for a lifetime.
From the entire Santa family to yours I wish you the Merriest of Christmas's and a very prosperous New Year

Friday, December 6, 2013

Feeling it

I know I am not the only one that this happens too and that this has been happening everywhere , just have to open the newspaper and there is more stories to read but I can't seem to find the answer we are all looking for "WHY"? Three days removed from the big decoration heist and to be honest as I told a follower of #TeamSanta , I am not angry anymore I just honestly feel like by stealing more decorations they have taken more than just material things from all of late as last Saturday as I told my neighbour over a beer in my front yard at 8 at  night in the dark " I need to get this finished it looks to good but I know I can do more" each night I would put my lights on and walk around the yard to see how things could be better , making sure all lights are working then neighbours would come out and chat we would laugh and talk about our day  , that was Tuesday .today all the talk is how people don't want us to move , tears from some of the best people you could ever hope to meet in your life!  I have to be honest I am not a good mover I get lots of anxiety , I know that staying in this house is an option but maybe moving is a necessity , we have had so many things happen in this Cul de Sac and it's starting to get better but when is enough enough ? We have had SWAT teams in our bedroom due to a hostage taking in the Crack house next door , all our kids witnessed a man being beaten with a bat down the alley! Believe it or not we can not even put flower planters out because they go missing ! Don't get me wrong the area I live in is new construction unfortunately it's mixed in with about 5 houses that are still old school and owned by a known Felon and his son who is a crack an other kinds of drug dealer , those few houses have brought down the whole block . I know I got off topic  but explaining a bit about why I am not feeling the Spirit may give insight into my statement that " they didn't just take material things when the stole my displays"
I have to say the offers of support are somewhat overwhelming , I still have faith in humanity  and I thank each and everyone of you.  a few isolated incidents against us should not warrant losing the over all christmas spirit but the point I guess that I am trying to make is this
At what point in this life did it get to the point that your own yard can not be a safe place for you or your kids
Christmas isn't even sacred anymore ! All of us 7 families have been affected by someone's urge to grab a few lights and decorations from my lawn. You have influenced our lives and changed our course for the future! I truly hope the feeling comes back soon because I love Christmas and love being Santa but right now I am trying so damn hard unfortunately  I just don't feel it .

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Careful What You Wish For

Hello everyone:
Well this has been a world wind kind of week for me, back at my new OLD job but this time in Vancouver, supposed to be on a temporary basis and I sure hope that is the case! I have wished for a long time for this position, Be careful what you wish for huh. In all seriousness I absolutely love my job and what I do but I am struggling with the fact that this new position is not in the same office as before and I have just added a minimum hour to my commute each day plus the unfortunate cost of the toll bridge and the extra gas consumed. The tolls and gas I can deal with, eats up my raise but it’s the time away from my wife and family that has me conflicted. An hour a day may not seem so long but I find that my children are growing up so fast, and with a hectic schedule of kids and work Mrs Santa and I don’t get lots of time together as it is. They have told me that this is a temporary move and that I will be out from the city and back in the burbs in no time. Lesson in patience for Santa.
With only 41 days remaining until the big day I know that most of you are starting to make holiday preparations, shop for gifts and organizes festive parties, we are too. I would hope that the people reading this have a safe and happy upcoming holiday season. PLEASE do not drink and drive.
As for an update on the Santa Block Party, well unfortunately I could not pull it all together in time for the event, I was not able to secure the necessary lights and decorations could not be made in time. I will say that I will be working on the block party for next year and hope that maybe a sponsor or two may join in as it was just too expensive to do on my own for this year. What I have done instead is started to make and design light blocks in an attempt to make my personal goal of $500 for Variety Club Children’s Charity. I have sold a few so far and Mrs. Santa will be going to a Craft fair on Nov 23 and has a booth so she will be taking some of them to try and sell also along with her crafts that she makes.  Mrs. Santa is one of the most talented people I know between making custom cloth diapers, quilts, stuffed animals and so much more, on top of that she works and keeps our crazy lives organized in the home. I don’t think I give her enough credit for what she does. Hope everyone had a chance to see the one light block that I have made in support of Breast Cancer research, that block will be going up on a bidding site in the coming days and will start at $60.00 and hopefully go up from there. If it’s bought by someone in Vancouver or the Fraser valley I will deliver it personally and thank you for helping to find a cure. If anyone is looking for a personalized block or for any occasion not just for Christmas let me know they start at $40.00 + shipping and partial proceeds will be going to Variety Club Children’s Charity. I hope that you all have a FANTASTIC week and be kind to everyone you meet.
Your Friend SANTA

Saturday, October 19, 2013

updates on the Street Party

Another week is in the books for 2013. Halloween decorations are up and look great with the few new additions that Mrs Santa was able to add to her collection of ghouls.
 One of the best additions we have made is the installation of a security camera ( unfortunately it's not real just battery operated )to hopefully be a deterrent to those who like to steal our decorations . It's a sad reality that in this day and age you have to protect the very things you have worked so hard to acquire from those who have no respect for what hard work is. The truth is if people would come up to the door and knock , The Santa family would probably give them something to eat or help in anyway they could so that the people don't have to steal. As you may have seen in tweets over the last few weeks decorations are being cut painted and prepared for the holiday season. I worry if they will make it but if I let that get in my head and think "oh no someone is going to steal my stuff again" I would be letting the few criminals ruin what is a special time of year for my family , my friends and the charities I try and promote. I am still hoping to have the Santa street party , my concern is that there will not be enough decorations up to attract people to want to come see and donate though bake sales and Tree sales. I will be sitting down with my neighbours in the next week or so to figure out our game plan, with 60+ days to go it may be tough! I am still on the hunt for display items and MORE lights , Santa does not give up and will try my best to make it happen.
As most of you know I recently lost my position in mental health and have been working as a youth development worker . I am happy to announce that though my work in youth development is important and I have been able to help and connect with troubled youth , I have been offered my old position back managing case loads and I gladly accepted. I love the job that I did in mental health and look forward to returning to a fresh case load and once again being able to make a direct impact in the lives of persons with mental health and disability issues.
I will keep this week short and sweet and hope that everyone has a magical week upcoming. Take care #TeamSanta and we will talk again soon . @FVsecretsanta

Thursday, October 10, 2013

What's on my mind

As the season’s change and the nights get longer I am starting to realize just exactly how close we are to the Christmas season and how far behind I am. I would love to say that I am prepared for the Santa block party and that all decorations have been made and painted , all the lights have been found but unfortunately I cant .
I have Tried many times in vain to have a local company or even the city of langley allow us to borrow some of the tremendous amounts of surplus decorations they have to allow for an even better reason for people to show up and donate to our Christmas fund raiser. What i can tell you that is confirmed, well we have 20-30 Christmas trees that will be available for sale on the block @ a min donation of 20-25$, fresh homemade Christmas baking will be available for purchase, hot chocolate, and possibly popcorn should we be able to find a popcorn cart. As I stated before we are looking to raise a min of $500.00 for variety but will be happy with any amount raised to be honest.
I would like to say thank you to so many people that have been making the attempt to grow the #TEAMSANTA over the last couple of months. I would like to clarify to others the reasons why there is a #SantaFollowTrain. I as many of you have tried countless times to have people interact and become vocal and passionate about what you or I do. The idea of the #SantaArmy was to show the world and everyone within ear shot that people will stand together while continuing to grow towards the importance of ending homelessness, poverty and the mistreatment of persons with mental illness or those affected by physical disabilities in our communities. Unfortunately when I was making a pitch to promote a charity, event or a plea for help I was encountering very little response so that’s where the #SantaFollowTrain comes into play. Grow the numbers, become noticed by more people, and be able to help so many more. There is great power in numbers and just because you may not know of a solution or where to donate or who may have access to programs in a community, someone on your timeline just very well may. To those that have exited the Santa TL, I am sorry that you are gone but all that does is open up a spot for others who really believe in change and want to help be the change this world needs.
The last item I wanted to touch on was the whole "Cost of Christmas" mentality that I have been encountering more and more over the last few weeks as the holiday season approaches. Christmas only costs what you want to spend, there are so many free and interactive events that take place in you community each holiday season. No one told you that you had to buy a PS4 for your 6-year-old, no one said that you must buy a gift for every person that you have ever met. Live within your means and try and get the people surrounding you to see that its #NotTheCost that makes the holiday season remarkable, it’s who you are with that does. As time goes by {maybe I am just getting older} I find that there is more and more emphasis and effort on how much you can spend, than what is put into the thought and consideration the present itself. Lets get back to simple Christmas traditions like enjoying our families, enjoying our friends and most of all enjoying the life we live because it’s the only one we will ever have. The only thing that needs to be considered in a monetary way is the memories you will create, they are PRICELESS.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

This Years Charity of Choice

Well as we start another week I am wondering where the time goes, another birthday is upon me and I am struggling with the idea of turning 40. Mrs. Santa has been fantastic in putting up with my Birthday negativity and she is 100% right when she says you are only as old as you feel. I guess I am around 132 some days.
With 98 days remaining until Christmas I am starting to get geared up for the reveal of my house and the Cul-De-Sac. 8ft snowmen have been made for each person’s roof (6 houses) lights have been checked and this year hopefully we can pull it together a Christmas street party for people to come and enjoy, buy homemade Christmas baking and crafts there will hopefully be an appearance by Santa and to top it all off there will be local firemen posing for pictures in an attempt to raise money for Charity. Some of you have asked what Charity? well  this year the Charity that we have chosen is “ VARIETY CHILDRENS CHARITY” Variety does so much for the children of our province and creates miracles for those in need that we figured they would be perfect for this year’s choice. There are so many great charities out there and it is hard to decide who to give too, if you cannot find a variety donation box then use a local charity in your area. The search is on for more lights, more display items and word of mouth advertising when the time comes. As most of you know, last year I had a bunch of my display items stolen from my yard and I have been working feverishly to find and replace what I can in hopes of making my yard and the rest of the neighborhood stand out to draw attention to our cause. There is a possibility that a local tree farm may donate 20 or so trees to the cause and sell them for a minimum donation of $25.00 boom easy $500.00 for Variety Club if that happens. I will also be encouraging people to bring a non-perishable food item for the food bank, or pet food for the local animal shelter. Either way we are going to help some people this year stolen decorations or not J
This will take a lot of work and preparation but will all be worth it. It will not matter if we raise $10 or $10,000, the simple fact that a group of people are coming together to raise awareness for a charity, make people smile and to enjoy the friendships we have created. I have not let variety know that they are the charity of choice but I guess they will know now.
As plans become finalized and it is for sure a go I will update you with where and when. If you do not live in the Fraser Valley Vancouver area and would like to donate, log on to the Variety Club website and donate what you can. Here is the link to the site and tell them that @FVsecretsanta and #TeamSanta sent you! My goal is $500 I hope that we can do it! There is no minimum donation required, every dollar helps
Please take the time to share this week’s blog post, hopefully you follow @fvsecretsanta and join in with us as we try and bring joy to the holiday season. Thanks #TeamSanta if you have any questions please feel free to email me at

Thursday, September 12, 2013


As we approach the 100 day countdown to Christmas I, as many of you start to get excited, some of you are not as extreme and  may not comprehend the magnitude of Christmas and the effect that it has on me and my family. It kind of drives Mrs. Santa crazy at times when I am painting or touching up display items in the middle of July on the front lawn, she is such a good sport about it all, the neighbors have even gone as far as buying Santa a T-Shirt with the phrase “I’m That Guy”. See, the neighbors give me a hard time about me and my Christmas obsession but the great part is whenever we have a BBQ or gathering the attention always shifts towards what are we doing with our Christmas displays this year and what new items we have found since the last time we talked. This year may be an epic year for our cul-de-sac as we are planning to light the whole area up, all 6 houses with displays lights and even a Mail box to Santa in order to try and raise money for charity, you may even see Santa in a suit on special nights serving hot chocolate. We have chosen a charity to raise money for but are waiting on announcing it at this time as I want to make sure that all the neighbors are fully committed to the cause, to avoid disappointment if it doesn’t work out! All I know is that my yard will look like Christmas threw up all over it (as usual). Santa was approached the other day and offered lots of Christmas items to replace the ones that were stolen from my yard last year, this is so much appreciated.I was also able to secure 6 8FT snowmen to display , one for each persons home.
Christmas to me is more than just a holiday, it’s a feeling, its excitement, it’s the anticipation of seeing smiling faces that otherwise are filled with a scowl. So many people with negative attitudes always express “it’s too commercial” “it’s too expensive” the stores are “too busy”, Christmas is what YOU make it , it does not have to be expensive or commercial and yes the stores may be busy but have you ever taken the chance to sit on a bench in a mall with a cup of coffee and actually see the expressions on people faces when they have just found that perfect gift for someone they love, the Smiles that the children have when they are all dressed up and waiting in line to see Santa ? It’s something that you do not see all the time.
The month of December offers to me personally a chance to even for a few hours a day to turn on my Tree, light up my display and kind of forget about the everyday rat race that we live in. Christmas allows me to spend more quality time with my Family, I can use the time to create projects like display making and light hanging with my kids and have the opportunity to drag them away from playing video games or watching TV. One of my most favorite things to do is build the Ginger Bread houses with my wife and kids ( I will admit I steal some of the candy before it gets on the house) building the Santa villages from ready-made kits made of foam, I think Mrs. Santa is banning me from the hot glue gun this year though, And the joy that comes from hearing Christmas Carols everywhere I go. Simply put I love all that Christmas has to offer and the overall vibrancy that it brings to me, my family and hopefully yours family too. Most of all it gives me and many others the chance to see, and express the generosity that the world has to offer by helping feed our hungry , support our favorite charity or make donations to our local shelters to feed the animals. I wish this could happen all year long but we must be happy with the opportunity we have been given.
So as we get closer to the 100 day countdown if I could ask that in your travels to a grocery store, Dollar store or pet store, start now grab a can or two extra of food, put it away and when the time comes to support a local food drive or charity event you can be able to support without hesitation and fill the food hampers that are so desperately needed! Also maybe think of Santa and the joy that he brings, not the burden that some people thinks he creates.MAKE CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR HOW YOU WANT IT TO BE, YOU GET OUT OF IT WHAT YOU PUT IN.
To me it will always be Merry Christmas, not just Happy Holidays.
103 Days and counting
Your Friend FVSecretSanta

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Team Santa

Team Santa
Team Santa has taken on a life of its own since the 21rst of August! I wanted to extend a heartfelt and huge thank you to everyone who busted their ass to try and help Santa get to 5000 followers. To some that is not many, to others that’s a large amount; to me it’s a win for Charity. Along the way there were a few hiccups and a suspension or two but we made it despite the odds. @bowmovers put up a great fight and it was close up until the end.
I have never been one for large numbers of followers, I have been more about having the ability to reach people, draw from people and be inspired by people. There were some along this journey that decided that this was more than a race for charity and all for fun. These people had decided to mess with people’s accounts, hack them, report them as spam and just try and disrupt what should have been a friendly competition. All these spiteful people have done was attempt to hurt the charities and children that Santa helps, for this i feel sorry for them. This challenge to 5K has shown me and I am sure some of you that if you never give up and keep trying your best, good things will happen. We Banded together as a team with our differences, culture and color pushed aside . It was not an issue if you were straight or gay, black white yellow or brown, As a unit we found a way to work together to accomplish a common goal and that was  to try and help needy children in our communities. I wish that this could happen all over the world; I hope that one day we, the human race can get past the color of skin or the sexual preference that one may have. In the grand scheme of this why does it matter to me or you, it shouldn’t, it’s not our life to live or judge. If you look on my TL you will see that all walks of life are represented and I love it. The only way to eliminate hate and racism is to experience what another culture has to offer, gain understanding into why things are the way they are.  NOH8
On to the next adventure.
On a weekly basis (or when I can get around to posting) I would like to try and single out a person that is making a difference in a community, this is where I need your help. If you know someone who is trying hard to be a positive influence in their community please let me know. I want to make sure that the world knows there are good people doing good things right in our own backyards. So often we only hear about the bad in a community. I know of so many people that are trying to make a difference and to be a difference in their community.  
With the holiday season approaching and planning in effect for fund raising or charity events, just let me know how I can possibly help through FVSS and spreading the word about your cause. The SantaArmy has accomplished some amazing things this year, I am so proud of each and every one of you that helped and jumped on the Santa Train!! Hope you continue to enjoy the ride.
Positivity breeds confidence, confidence breeds humanity, humanity builds the world
It’s good to have realistic expectations; it gives people something to live up too  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Know your facts before you Assume

I would Just like to start by saying, all the people that have helped Santa gain in the last week since the Santa challenge started , Thank you so much , I owe you a great deal of praise for all of your efforts. As I write this we are looking at just 600 followers remain in order to win the Santa Challenge. A HUGE thank you and all of my respect goes out to @bowmovers who had approached me with this idea for charity. As I had stated previously, it does not matter who wins, the best part is we are all talking about helping charities and bringing more awareness to the social issues that we all face.
I am pleased to announce that the BBQ for Mental Health and disabilities was a great success. Through peoples generous donations we were able to provide 1 gift for each and every one that attended. That was the whole goal; make sure that all clients leave the BBQ feeling like a winner. I do realize that some of you would have liked to help and donate, but I would not have felt right taking more gifts than we would have needed plus you did help by spreading the word and supporting Santa along the way.
One area I wanted to touch on this week was in regards to a comment made by a couple of people on Twitter that @ FVsecretsanta and the contest were a scam and just a ploy to gain more followers. I found these comments to be uncalled for and offensive. As @FVSecretSanta I have put my name on many different causes and charities over the past 7 years (see my previous Santa Blogs and so many that I do not publish)  I would never use this social media forum for anything but spreading a positive message and to try and encourage the fair and equal treatment of every member of our communities though some would . I know there may be some people that have some doubts as to what I do and why I do it, please I wish you could come and spend a day with me when I am out on a fundraising mission. The feeling that you get when you can help a person in need or when watching the confidence in someone grow when they have none is such an amazing feeling. Most of the people that I work with and work for receive a living allowance of under $100.00 per month. Hand them a movie ticket that costs $12.00 and see the reaction, take them to a football or baseball game that tickets cost $40.00 and see the smile that is created and you will know the feeling I get when I am able to secure these kinds of items through generous donations. Yes all of these items may general items for you and me and may cost money, but these people can’t afford them. The ability to give the less fortunate 3 hours or even 5 minutes to feel like they are a normal member of society is absolutely PRICELESS . If you know someone with a Disability or see a person with a Mental Health issue just remember it is not their fault , they did not ask to be stigmatized, they did not ask to be treated as less than human. If you ask anyone with a disability all they ever want is to be treated just like everyone else, be afforded the same opportunities, to be thought of as productive member of society.
So to the people that expressed they thought that @FVSecretSanta only wants to get as many people as I can on twitter, I don’t need a million followers to continue doing what I do, I was FVSecretSanta before twitter, I will be FVSecretSanta after twitter and I strongly think that an apology to all the charities that I have helped should be made. I found the comments disrespectful not only to me but to all the good people out there trying to make a difference and be a voice for those who are unable to be heard without asking for anything in return.
Be kind to everyone you meet and if you see someone in the community that has a disability say HI , tell them they are important and tell them “Thank You for being you”.