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The Bullard Edge Investigative Report: Santa Among Us

December 5, 2014

By Michael G. McClory

Life is full of mysteries.  Consider the Loch Ness Monster (there must be something to it or Nova would not cover it), televised bowling (remarkably, it pulls strong ratings, both live events and classic tournament rebroadcasts), and Santa Claus (who is our muse de jour and someone whom The Bullard Edge posits walks among us).

This time of year, Santa Claus is in the spotlight – or would be if we could find him, or her (after all, “santa” is a feminine noun).  This ubiquitous figure has been chronicled in countless movies (Miracle On 34th Street) and depicted in art (A Pictorial History of Santa Claus).  He also has been fodder for historians (see the History Channel).

Despite all of this attention, Santa still feels distant, just beyond our grasp and, even, inscrutable.  For that reason, the investigative wing of The Bullard Edge set out to discover Santa.  Is Santa real?  If he is real, where do we find Santa?  Is Santa approachable?  Here are our findings.

We found Santa in Houston. Santa took 11 children in the care of Child Protective Services to a local Toys “R” Us and provided them with an 80-second shopping spree.  He purchased for them whatever they could load into their shopping carts in that time.  Phenomenal.  (Incidentally, The Bullard Edge is now a huge fan of Andre Johnson.)

We then discovered a Charlotte, North Carolina “sleigh ride” conducted yesterday by the Society of Secret Santas.  Seven anonymous Santas distributed $100 bills to strangers, hoping to inspire those strangers to perform their own random acts of kindness.  These Santas are part of the Society of Secret Santas, which traces its origins to an anonymous act of kindness provided to a young Larry Stewart.  The stranger provided him with a meal when he was in need.  After Mr. Stewart’s business career made him a millionaire, he became “famous” as an anonymous Secret Santa who passed out $100 bills to strangers in Kansas City and beyond.  Shortly before his 2007 death he revealed his identity and inspired others to form the Society of Secret Santas, which carries on his work around the country of anonymously performing random acts of kindness to those less fortunate.

Closer to home we found Santa in Milwaukie (Oregon, for those of you reading out of state).  Since 1974, Clackamas Fire District #1 has devoted the month of December to Operation Santa Claus.  Fire district volunteers and employees lead Santa’s fire engine parade down neighborhood streets (15 parades this year), bringing Santa to the community.  In the process, Operation Santa collects toys and non-perishable food items, which are used to fill hundreds of food baskets for needy families.  All of this is funded by donations from the community served.

This discovery opened the floodgates.  It appears that Santa, or Santa’s spirit, is all around us.  There are countless opportunities for us to give of our money or time or expertise.  Some of the many options available right now include:

This list is not exhaustive.  There are many other opportunities out there.  The Bullard Edge’s conclusion, based on its investigation, is: We have found Santa and it is us.

The Bullard Edge encourages everyone to find their inner Santa and to enjoy the end of year holiday season.