Sentimental Saturday – Visiting Santa

Each year. Every year.

It was important to visit with Santa, just to be certain that he knew what we wanted to find under our Christmas tree.

Often the meeting location was the local mall. But just as often it was the work or office Christmas party.

The location was not the important point. The essential point of the outing was ensuring Santa was aware of the expectations.

Here is the photographic record of some of those Santa encounters.


Yours Truly with my sister Lou-Anne and brother Bob (seated on Santa’s lap), probably from around 1964

My mother knit the sweater I was wearing. It was during the Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett furor.

HADDEN Ian and Karen Family with Santa 1984

Yours Truly with my late wife Karen, in 1984, with our then two children John and baby Lisa, who was more interested at the time in Santa’s beard than what was to be under the tree on Christmas morning.

HADDEN Jenna with Santa 1990

Our youngest, Jenna with Santa at an office Christmas party in 1990.

HADDEN Karen Benedetto with Santa office party 1996

My late wife Karen at an office Christmas party around 1991.




Merry Christmas And Happy New Year From Our Family To Yours!

Ellen and I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

Recently, Ellen’s family gathered at a ‘secret’ Orangeville, Ontario location to celebrate Christmas. Just before a wonderful dinner was served, we heard the familiar sound of jingle bells from the back deck of the house. We received a surprise visit for Santa Claus himself, to the delight of young and old. Fortunately, the location was far enough north that there was sufficient snow on the ground and rooftop to allow Santa’s reindeer to make a perfect landing on the roof.

Even ‘Chef’, our nephew Andrew’s newest family addition was joyous and excited to meet Santa.

After each of the children had a turn to sit on Santa’s lap and speak with him, Santa invited them to reach into a small red bag that he carried. Inside the bag were candy canes and as one of the kids found out, a photo envelope that Santa quickly tucked away back into the bag. With the kids quizzically looking at Santa, he relented and admitted that he always traveled with a photo of his ‘Sweetie.’ 

Santa slowly pulled the envelope out of the tiny sack and allowed the oldest of Carl and Tess Wagner’s great grandchildren present to open the envelope. Seven-year old Eva stared in amazement at the photo of Mrs. Claus and quickly explained to her young cousins that she knew it was Mrs. Claus because she had seen the same picture when her Grammie had ‘googled’ Mrs. Claus a few days earlier. Santa graciously allowed Eva to keep the photo which Eva showed willingly to all present but never let out of her possession.

We hope that your Christmas is filled with the magic, wonder, family and joy that we have shared!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for a healthy and very prosperous Happy New Year!

The year 2013 has been surprisingly busy, especially considering my retirement status, but it has also been filled with exciting new adventures, new genealogy discoveries, and most gratifying a number of new connections with previously unknown and unmet cousins.

May 2014 bring on more of the same.

Stay safe.