Tag Archives: magic

Thank You, Colonel Harry Shoup, For Keeping Santa’s Magic Alive!

In 1955, Colonel Harry Shoup received a phone call at work. A six-year old boy began reciting his Christmas list. Colonel Shoup wasn’t amused. But when a second call from another child asking to speak to Santa Claus came into the Continental Air Defense Command office (CONAD) he was determined to get to the bottom of it. Evidently, Sears Roebuck & Co. printed an ad with a phone number that allowed children to speak with Santa. The newspaper printed the wrong phone number. When Colonel Shoup realized this, he instructed his staff to take all calls from children and give them the location of Santa Claus. And when the United States and Canada combined their air defense units (North American Aerospace Defense Command or NORAD) a couple years later, “the tradition continued.” 

Since 1955, volunteers man the phones on Christmas Eve to field calls requesting information on the whereabouts of Santa Claus. Santa tracking went worldwide in 1997 when it was introduced to the web. According to Wikipedia over 500 volunteers field a half a million calls, over 12,500 emails and the website receives over 1 billion hits. 

A simple misprint in a newspaper started a phenomenon. And Colonel Shoup, just another of Santa’s helpers, kept the magic alive. It’s been said that one of his staff drew a little sleigh on a large glass map of the world that they had in the office. When Col. Shoup noticed it he called the local radio station and said, “We have a UFO coming across Canada. It looks like a sleigh.” The radio station played along and reported the news.

On March 14, 2009 Colonel Shoup died. But he left behind a way to transport us all into the magic of Christmas. What a beautiful gift he gave to us in the form of a simple phone call. I remember turning on the television as a child to watch for news of where Santa had been and where he was headed. When my oldest was a child I logged onto the internet and showed her Santa’s trail. Now, I’m sharing that with my sons and with you – all because of one man’s belief in the magic of Santa Claus.

It’s Christmas Eve where I live. Santa has already begun his journey around the world and will be arriving to our house soon! Click here to follow Santa as he travels to our homes.

Merry Christmas, my dear blog friends! I hope this post finds you happy, healthy, and surrounded by those you love. And may Santa bring you everything you’ve asked for!


Filed under children, Holiday

What Will You Do To Spread Some Magic Today?

I saw this story awhile ago.

It warmed my heart then.

It warms my heart now.

Freddie Wieczorek works part-time at Walt Disney World, checking the bags of the guests who flock to Magic Kingdom. Encouraged to spread the magic, as all Disney employees are encouraged to do, he bought an autograph book and began asking the children who came through the gates dressed in costume for their autograph.

In his 4+ years at Disney he’s collected over 1,400 signatures (sometimes scribbles, depending on the age.) To see their faces light up when they’ve been “mistaken for the real thing” brings him such joy. And he is spreading joy to the child, the parents and those who witness the scene.

It’s no secret I love Walt Disney and the empire he began. I love the magic. I love the joy. I love the many, many employees like Mr. Wieczorek who embrace the Disney philosophy and take it that extra step.

Seeing this photo again reminded me that I don’t have to wait to go to Disney World to experience the magic. I can make my own right here, right now.

What will you do to spread some magic today?


Filed under How We Roll, Lessons Learned

Take The Time To See The Magic Around Us

This is such an interesting experiment.

And a huge reminder for all of us to slow down.


Enjoy. And see the magic.

There IS magic all around us if we would only take the time to look.


For more !!! visit Momalom or Bad Mommy Moments.


Filed under Completely Random, Lessons Learned, Observations, The !!!

A Lucky Leprechaun Learns A Lesson From The Wee Little Ones

Those crafty leprechauns visited Jane’s house on Wednesday and left quite the scene!

I’m Irish. Complete with smilin’ Irish green eyes. Fiery temper? No. (but please don’t ask my husband) And St. Patrick’s Day is a fun day, to be sure. So before I left to do a few errands and pick up the boys from school I remembered to plot a little leprechaun mischief. But between the dry cleaners and the grocery store and the carpool line, I completely forgot about how I had left the house.

When we pulled into the garage I started barking orders: Don’t forget your lunch box, Take off your shoes, Wait – dump the sand out first, Hang up your jackets. My typical weekday refrain. This particular day, I was interrupted.

“Mom! Quick! You GOTTA see this! Hurry! The leprechauns were here!!!”

I raced in and faked surprise.

Their sweet little faces were lit up in wonder.

Stuffed animals watching TV.

Stuffed animals taking a nap.

Stuffed animals warming themselves by the fireplace.


Stuffed animals jammin’ to the radio.

“Do you think they did anything else?” #1son said excitedly, “Let’s go check!”

He and his little brother raced through the house looking for more clues. But there were none. And I was still standing there, stunned that they really thought leprechauns had brought all of the stuffed animals downstairs and arranged them ever so cleverly about the family room. I kept waiting for them to figure out that good ol’ mom had been messing with them. But the longer they chattered about how great and how funny the leprechauns were, the more I felt lame for not doing more.

“Mom, Look!” #2son shouted from the kitchen, “They even brought chocolate cupcakes for us!”

Six cupcakes, under the glass cake plate dome, purchased from the grocery store. Complete with green sprinkles and a little pot of gold on each one. He knows (and shares) my weakness for chocolate.

When are they going to figure it out? I wondered.

“Can we leave them out for Daddy to see? This is so funny!” #1son was hopping up and down.

“Of course, now go wash your hands for snack, ” I shooed them into the bathroom.

Childlike wonder. Innocent joy. It is so precious and fills my heart every time I witness it.

I’ve always known that I will encourage a suspension of disbelief when it comes to Santa Claus. (And you all know how I feel about Santa Claus) I believe in his spirit of kindness and giving. I know it exists. I believe Santa lives in all of us; we just need to know how to best share his gifts. But I never thought I’d continue a ruse about leprechauns. In fact, I purposely keep my kids out of the mall during Easter. I think that person dressed in a rabbit costume is ridiculous and I don’t want to take the chance that my kids would put 2 and 2 together and somehow attach their, however misguided, conclusions to Santa.

But maybe they’re onto something here. What’s wrong with a little wonder? A little magic in our day?

I’m part Irish – I could pass for a leprechaun.

And what fun it was! It brightened their afternoon. It brightened MY afternoon more than I had anticipated.

And they shared that joy with me.


Filed under children, Growing Up