How SWMNBMM saved Christmas

December 22, 2021

There are certain things you need to survive in life. Food, water, shelter and, if you have grandchildren, ear plugs to drown out the noise. With six grandchildren, She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Made-Mad and I live in a house full of noise.

And not a single towel.

It was the week before Christmas and all through the house, there wasn’t a quiet place to be found. Even the mouse headed for the neighbors’ to get some rest. As for me, I spent the day wrapping presents, cleaning the Santa Claus suit and desperately trying to find the beard … which I didn’t find. Fortunately, SWMNBMM is very resourceful and made Apa Claus a beard that would make even the real St, Nick jealous.

But I get ahead of myself. You see, the past 10 years or so, I have played Apa Claus for the children in our family. It wasn’t really something that was meant to become a tradition but it has, I guess. To break it down for those that are unfamiliar with Apa Claus. Apa, or Apaluk (pronounced Uh-pow-luk) is the Inupiat (Eskimo)word for “grandfather.” Claus, of course, is from Santa. Each year, I dress up as Santa, and give the young boys and girls in our family a small gift from us. I think I enjoy it more than the kids.

So, with that, you understand that we spent much of the day running about, collecting items, wrapping them and preparing a show. It can be a bit overwhelming at time, but my wife, bless her heart, and our youngest daughter, Kaymee, are masters at stuff like that. They makes sure the presents are wrapped in appropriate colors, labels and stored. Like Santa’s elves, they work without pay … and, sometimes, they aren’t happy about the hours. OK ... they’re never happy about the hours.

Once all of the presents were done, it’s time to get ready. Here is where the issue began. There is no way anyone wants to be close to a sweaty Santa of any sort. So, I raced off to the shower. I quickly jumped in and jumped out … only to find there wasn’t a towel, wash rag or even a dirty sock to dry off on. Do you know how long you have to jump up and down to dry off? I don’t know either because I gave out before I ever jumped. I ended up just working my way into the suit while was wet.

Remember, we couldn’t find the beard for Santa. So SWMNBMM made some liquid latex and began applying strands of white yarn to my face. To her credit, she spent more than an hour creating a beautiful white beard. Honestly, it was better than the original beard we had. But, do me a favor, don’t tell her I said that. I don’t want her to get a big head or anything like that.

After we created the beard, we went out for some fun. We headed down to the park and passed out free candy canes to people who came out to enjoy the Christmas lights. From there, we headed over to where the grandkids were and did our annual Apa Claus performance. You can’t believe the happiness it brings to an old newspaperman’s soul to see those kids’ faces all grinning.

In the end, we had food, water and shelter … and plenty of laughs so it all worked out. All thanks to SWMNBMM, Christmas was saved.

Tommy Wells is the editor of The Carnegie Herald. Everything in this column is true, except for the parts that are fabricated, made up, or are just plain lies.