Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Internal Struggles

Life Changes
Over the past few weeks I have found myself being human, YES its true Santa has to face the same situations and curve balls that life throws at us all.
For some time there have been many issues weighing on my mind that I have been able to keep at bay and carry on with daily life like we all do. unfortunately While away on vacation for a few days with my children in Penticton I found myself unexpectedly thinking about all of the things that have happened in my life so far after hearing some bad news about a family member , I  even reached back to when I was a teenager and dealing with weight issues and my neck injury. For so long I just played everything off like it never happened, typical guy thing to do I guess. It has caught up with me. I found myself reflecting back on a previous incident that took place when I lived up north and I was asked to compromise my morals and future, I did not. Because I would not pander to the powers that be I was then put in a position of owning a new home and car, having a one year old son with issues and no money or job prospects to pay for any of it. I picked myself up went back to school and started all over again. Don’t get me wrong things are going well for me I love my job but I have found myself in a bit of a funk emotionally and not thinking clearly. Stemming back to up north and the financial bind it had put me in that I still am trying to climb out from is emotionally draining enough but with a year in my professional life that I wish I could forget, and family sickness, I just broke down. Over the past year I have had my job changed on 4 occasions and having to train the people to replace me , I had been placed in a position that I had to defend my work due to blatant disregard for someone’s safety ,plus there was an attempt to throw me under the proverbial bus  . Good thing I kept accurate notes which helped clear my name of wrong doing. Being in interview after interview while feeling guilty for what had happened (even when it wasn't my fault) with not one person from my organization come to my defense was VERY stressful,  situations that required me to use my first aid to help people from further harming themselves. More added stress. On a personal level I have been put under a lot of physical and mental pressure worrying about my son and his at times, erratic behaviors due to his issues, I worry every day, he has no friends to play with and how that will affect him socially and mentally in the future, where will he be? What will he do? All things a father wonders. Over the past few months we have been at an even greater struggle with his behaviors with absolutely no fault of his own. On 2 occasions the pharmacy that we deal with has given the wrong prescription, once he was given the pure dosage of fluoxetine that landed my son in the hospital with overdose issues. As if once was not bad enough the same pharmacy filled the wrong amount RX then gave it to someone else with a similar name. My son was given another boys medications that did not comply with his system. Unfortunately my son had a bit of a break down and had to be restrained by a neighbor until he could calm down ,not before harming his brother and mom in the process.(More Stress) then the final piece of the pie. I have been battling health issues , being told I was diabetic and have high blood pressure has been difficult after learning that it was a pre-disposition in my family ( I never knew)   once again I worry about my boys and their future should they be affected. The straw that broke the camel’s back was the news I heard regarding my mother in laws health , here is a strong woman who used to run marathons just last year , she has been diagnosed with MS with a not very favorable prognosis for the near future.  Along with my wife’s recent health issues that parallel her moms , I cracked , it got me. So as it stands I am currently off work as per doctor’s orders due to stress and burnout for the next 6-12 weeks. The moral of this story is to not to make anyone feel bad for Santa it’s to let you know no matter how tough the exterior,  inside we are all fighting a battle that most people can’t see, a battle with how to cope with life’s adventures.  I have had a rough go of things and I am making sure now that I take some time and regroup. We have to take care of ourselves. I feel bad that I am not at work, that’s just my nature but I can't help others until I help myself. My doctor has advised me to do things that will relax my mind, make me smile and that's what I intend to do! It's too bad I couldn't make a living off being Santa because at a distant second to my wife and kids it's just a part of my life that brings me joy, it makes not only me smile but so many others too. We all need to smile more.
Take care of you.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Have you ever been to Penticton?

As a summer or winter destination spot, this is the place to be! From your choice of skiing at Apex mountain or having your choice of two lakes Skaha or Okanagan lake, one at each end of town maybe 10 minutes from each other. Even if you don’t want to drive, blow up your inner tube and float the canal from lake to lake. The restaurants to ice cream shops and the many free concerts that take place all summer long you really can’t go wrong. One thing that is a must see and do is to stop in at Loco Landing. This is a place that starting with the owners Dustin and Diana and filtering all the way down to each and every one of their staff that no matter whom you are you are treated with respect and kindness. I had the honor of meeting Dustin and Diana, each one took the time to speak with me and wanted to know more about Santa and what he does and why he does it. I will admit at one point I got a wee bit emotional when discussing my wife’s journey right now and some of the plights that my son has to endure on a daily basis over his almost 9 years. These two people are teaching the young people of Penticton that there is a way to work hard while still having fun, each one of the staff that we had come in contact with were nothing but respectful and courteous, I made sure that Dustin and Diana knew my feelings on that, they already knew that of course they too had nothing but praise for each staff member and their dedication to making the best possible experience for each person that walks through the mist arches and into the park. People like Alesha who some of you may remember I tweeted about last year when she took time from her duties to help my son find the perfect way to use the monkey swing with only being able to use one arm. She actually remembered me from our last visit when the Santa Drop Doll came into conversation. This year not only were Madison and Alesha a big help but also a young lady Myra who when mini Santa was stuck high up on the Sky Trek she took the time to go up and walk him through his fear and by the end he was walking the rope bridges like a champ. Bumper boats, go Karts, mini golf does not matter how old you are it’s a great time and a great over all experience. I hope that I can talk more and learn from Dustin and Diana, as a man who is kind of struggling to find his way right now I would find them to be a big inspiration and great role models for anyone who is running a family business. These people get it, they are in the trenches setting the example and working just as hard as their staff to make work rewarding. The City of Penticton should be proud of what these people are doing for the youth in the town , giving kids a chance to shine in their community , be proud of the job they are doing while learning a valuable life skill, Hard work.  I say the words above because I admire a commitment to community, these people have it. Support this small family business the next time you are in Penticton or send them an email thanking them for employing the youth in the community each and every summer and letting them shine. I can’t wait to go back and neither can the Santa family. Thank you Loco Landing JOB VERY WELL DONE.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Time flies

Is it just me or is time flying? Middle of August already?
This has a been an extremely busy month or so for the Santa house , I am proud to say that we have purchased our new house and are very excited to be moving in at the end of this month. Our house is a wee bit of chaos at the moment but exciting none the less. Also, the start of has been a welcome addition to the busy schedule, I cannot convey into words just how excited I am with this site as I know with time and effort it will become a great tool for people to use and connect on, for spreading good will and equality all around the world. I hope that you tell your friends and help Santa build this site to amazing heights.
This month has also seen the start of the “Personalized Growth Chart” fundraiser. Word is starting to get out and we have sold a few boards so far, the pictures really do not do the charts justice. I am optimistic that once a few sell the word of mouth will get out and sales will take off and we can raise money for charities. If you do have interest in the Growth Charts just let Santa know and I will get your info , I can ship the boards anywhere that UPS goes, understandably it will cost a bit more, the extra cost for memories is Priceless.
Personalized Growth Charts
Personalized Growth Charts
The next bit of exciting news to come through the Santa house is that the latest Santa present drop was made in Langley. Santa was sitting at the Starbucks at Fraser crossing having a cool drink on a hot day. I was able to notice there was a small child with her mom and her Grandma sitting at the table next to me, it must have been fate as I overheard the child, I came to learn her name was Adeline talking about her push bike and going for a ride. I just knew that the shiny new bike that was in my car with the cobalt blue paint job and pink accents had her name on it. I spoke with Grandma and explained who I was and what Fraser Valley Secret Santa does to promote kindness and good will in the communities that surround my home. It was kind of cool because they said they had actually heard of me on the news before. So it was set Adeline was going home with a new bike. At first she was a bit overwhelmed but when I made my exit she looked me in the eyes and said “Thank you so much for my new bike, I like it”. All that I asked in return was maybe one day if the situation affords it “Pay it Forward and be kind to someone you don’t even know”. I Love making Santa Present Drops !
Santa present drop
Santa present drop

To date we have made present drops to all kinds of places
England – Australia-Germany-USA and of course my home Canada.
The last item of business is the Santa letter campaign, once again this year I will be doing ELetters to people and their children, all you have to do is send me an email on and I will try and respond as quickly as my chubby little fingers will let me. I am not charging for the Eletters but I would hope that each person that receives a letter would hit the donate button on the site for $1.00 (or however you feel like giving) all letters will generate funds for the local Christmas bureau, Let’s try and fill the food bank at Christmas. $1.00 donated to a food bank can purchase $3.00 worth of food .If you don’t have the ability to donate do not worry your child will still receive a Letter from Santa, it’s just a suggestion it’s not a requirement.
Please help Santa with his efforts to help Charities at home and in your communities.
Santa and Family.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Started with an Idea

I have had an idea for some time and now, today is the day that dream becomes reality.
Starting 7 years or so ago I just wanted to make 1 person smile because I had seen enough tears through my son’s eyes, people can be cruel to those who are different. Long before the TV news stories, twitter, or having articles published in print and on blogs I was just a guy who wanted to help those who need help , change people’s perspective on disability and find respect and equality for all, that has not changed.
  Today I want to introduce  everyone to .With the utmost gratitude I have to express a huge thank you to  Utahsites for donating time and resources towards my goal of charity awareness , in particular Damon Burton for his patience with me and the development of the site . Damon was able to take the vision that I had and make it real. , I had always wanted to have a place where people could go and find out what’s happening in their community because most times you hear of an event close to or after the fact by then it’s too late to really make an impact. Where persons with a disability could display their talents and post items they have made for sale. I have seen people take advantage of the disabled and low-ball offer them on fantastic soap stone carvings to paintings and handmade crafts, plus much more, this stops now. People that have items to sell or want to try and sell can now post and display their items FREE, they set the price they get the money if the items sell. There will also be room for ANYONE to post items for sale that agree to donate a part of the proceeds to a Charity of the month. On the site you will have the option to donate now, this will help in a Number of ways, site operation, food and warm clothes and also donations to animal shelters, all you have to do is specify upon checkout where you would like the money to go. There have also been places specified on the site to have sponsorship's for add space once again another way to generate funds for a charity.
On the site you will also be able to keep up to date on the latest Santa Space Blog, The next big Santa fund raising event and every one of the Random Santa Drops that will take place not only in my community but all around the world. I have been exploring the possibility of a number of different FVsecretsanta items that can be purchased on the site; all will have a Charity component. There is room on the site for contacting Santa directly , feel free to say hi , send me your event or simply see if there is a way we can work together and make the world a better place.
I will continually work to update the site and keep it fresh and new, with your help this could be an AMAZING opportunity for all of us to create smiles all around the world.
I have to thank my wife and Children for the understanding and patience they have in me. My wife is an amazing woman that I honestly do not know where I would be without her. Not only does Mrs. Santa have the strength to work 2 jobs, chase 3 children, find time help the local animal shelters when she can but she has to put up with me too. I love her so much and have nothing but respect and gratitude.  FVsecretSanta is important to me as it allows me to show not only my children but my community and the world compassion for others and the ability to know we can make a difference in this world through hard work, determination and never giving up on what you believe is the right thing to do.
I hope you enjoy the site and check in often, “Kindness is Contagious, Pass it on”
Twitter = @fvsecretsanta
Facebook =  FVsecretsanta
Instagram = Fvsecretsanta
Santa Space =