Monthly Archives: December 2012

I’m Married to Santa Claus!

Santa Joey 001

Santa Hubby and me (Maria Cisneros Toth) at our doll shop in Running Springs.

It was the day after Thanksgiving of ’92 and I had a doll, teddy bear & collectible store called the, Itty Bitty Doll Shop, in Running Springs, a small community nestled between Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear.

Winter had arrived in time for the holidays and snow blanketed the mountains. Local businesses were gearing up for the tourists who would stop in town before trekking further up the hill.

Santa Joey 002

Santa with our goddaughter, Kayla.

To help bring customers into our store hubby reluctantly agreed to play Santa Claus. Before he had a chance to have a change of heart, I rented the red suit. We were optimistic and bought plenty of toys to fill Santa’s sack.

With so many tourists driving through town to reach the ski resorts and sledding areas, hubby playing Santa Claus seemed like the perfect marketing strategy. The Santa plan: he’d stand at the edge of our parking lot and wave people toward our store. A sure winner!

Santa Joey 004

Santa handing our goddaughter, Megan, a coconut. Yes, a coconut! Why? Because my hubby is also a nut!

Only thing was it turned out to be one of the most coldest and iciest days in years and our parking lot literally turned into a slippery ice skating rink!

Then it started to snow, and snow and the fog rolled in. And it became much too cold for anyone to want to stop and get out of the warmth and comfort of their cars.

Long story short, hubby became a drive-thru Santa. From our store window, I watched as a long line of cars inched along as families waited to see Santa Claus. Santa handed out toys and candy from his big, red sack. Hubby recalls lots of pictures being taken as children shared their Christmas wish list with him through rolled down car windows. I can only imagine the kids must have thought they had arrived at the North Pole!

Santa Joey 007

Santa with my friend’s daughter, Heather.

By evening, the Santa traffic had dwindled, so hubby rushed into the store for a handful of candy canes. Then I couldn’t help but smile as I watched him bolt toward the real estate office to deliver the candy stash to the agents. As he ran across Hilltop Blvd., it was almost as though I could hear him shout in a Jimmy Stewart, It’s a Wonderful Life sort of way, “Merry Chrishmas, Running Springs!”

The moment is etched in my heart forever.

Santa Joey 006

Santa with my friend’s daughter, Melissa.

So, on that very snowy and icy day, my hubby who is for the most part a reserved and quiet man had really become Santa Claus. Aside from one of my best friends and her daughters who stopped by early for photos, we didn’t make a single sale. In fact, we took a financial loss. But it was all worth it just to watch hubby put on the red suit and white beard and knowing he created a sleigh full of happy memories for children visiting our snowy community.


It’s round two for this fun-loving Santa!

And it wouldn’t be the last time he’d wear the red suit either. A few years ago, I worked at an afterschool program for at risk youth. And once again, hubby handed out toys at our Christmas party to children of all ages who anxiously waited in line for a chance to talk to Santa Claus.

Even some of the grown-ups became believers!

It was so sweet the way he took his time with each child, listening to each of their special Christmas wishes. I was told by our site coordinator that for some of the children this would be the only Christmas they would have.


Santa takes his time, listening to each child.

Gosh, how did I get so lucky to marry Santa Claus?!

Have you or someone you know ever dressed up as Santa Claus? Do you have a special Santa memory you’d like to share?

Hot dog! You’re all invited to a wedding!

Hot dog! You’re all invited to a wedding!

I now pronouce you 'hot dog & hot dog!'

I now pronouce you ‘hot dog & hot dog!’

I’m a long distance grandma, so timing my phone calls to the grandkids isn’t always easy. I never know when they’re doing after school activities, homework, or having dinner. Last night was no different. I called when the twins were in the middle of homework. They passed the phone to each other and talked for a couple of minutes.

Then it was the 11-year-old’s turn. She was finishing up dinner. I asked her what she was eating and she told me about the ‘hashbrown’ rations in their home. I asked her what else they were having with the hashbrowns. She replied, “Scrambled eggs and a Weenie Man.”

“Huh?” I said. “What’s a Weenie Man?”

She immediately started singing a song about a hot dog who owns a hot dog stand and about a hot dog girl who wants to share her life with the weenie. Well, I laughed so hard, then quickly grabbed pen and paper and wrote down the words. We sang the song together till Grandma caught on to the lyrics and the catchy tune. Soon the twins were singing along, too.

The girls tried to explain over the phone how to make a ‘Weenie Man.’ I never quite understood all of the details, so since I was in a crafting sort of way I grabbed a couple of hot dogs out of the fridge and whipped up a couple of outfits out of Duck Tape. I know. I know. I’ve flipped, right?

So, now you’re all invited to a wedding–a ‘Weenie Man’ wedding!

Happiness to the bride & groom!