Dennis has a great set of photos of Grand Rapids charity Santa Claus Girls in action (slideshow) writes that volunteers started showing up at around 5:00am to load Toys and Gifts for 13,000 children of Kent County. This is the 100th year that Santa Claus Girls have operated this massive operation to provide presents for every child in Kent County. The Grand Rapids Press has some great features on the Santa Claus Girls that features stories from people whose lives have been touched by the charity.
“If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have had anything sometimes. I thought, ‘I’m doing it this year, and I’m going to continue.’”
â€” Loretta Homrich, of Sparta, remembers receiving candy and clothing from Santa Claus Girls as a child.
Across the state in Detroit (in Highland Park) two anonymous secret Santas handed out $11,000 in cash to needy folks. This is a really inspiring story and I hope you get a moment to read it and view the photo gallery.
Under the “Bet You Didn’t Know” heading, here’s the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School, a Midland based non-profit that was established in 1937 and is the longest continuously running Santa Claus School in the world. Subjects learned in their classes include the History of Saint Nicholas and Santa Claus, proper dress and use of make-up, Santa Sign Language (whatever that is), live reindeer habits and Santa flight lessons. Looks like classes are held every October so if you have visions of sugar plums dancing in your head, bookmark their site!
The enormous Santa to the right towers over the tiny town of Christmas, Michigan. Exploring the North explains that Christmas (pop 400) was given its name by a Munising man who started a roadside factory to make holiday gift items in 1938. The factory is long gone but the town is still Christmas crazy. For more Michigan Christmas-craziness, check out Madman Mike’s massive compendium of Michigan holiday fun.
Accuweather notes that Santa is going to need Rudolph’s nose and then some as up to a foot of new snow is on the way. Bill Simonson (aka Huge) is hoping that as Santa fills up his bag, he can include a little something for Michigan sports fans. His Christmas Wish List includes a QB for UM, some toughness in the paint at MSU, a refund for Lions fans, coaching lessons for Michael Curry, a bullpen for the Tigers and to please make sure every child has a sports hero and a parent who will hug him or her before he or she goes to bed on Christmas Eve.