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Voyageur's Best Features of 2003

Santa and helpers

Missing suit delivered...
by John Grones  |  December 16, 2003

Panic struck the city of Tamarack when two discoveries were made. First of all, Santa’s headquarters had to be changed from the Snow Flyers building to Sam’s Grocery. And second of all, Santa’s new suit was missing. It turns out that Santa and Mrs. Claus had ordered a new suit on eBay for the Chistmas Party to be held at the grocery store on Sat., Dec. 13. They ordered the suit from Washington on Dec. 2 through Federal Express, because it absolutely had to be there over night.

It didn’t arrive overnight. In fact it didn’t come the first week. When Mr. and Mrs. Claus realized the suit must be lost, they made some phone calls to Federal Express in Duluth. Federal Express assured them that the suit had made it to Minnesota and was on the ground, but its location was a bit of a mystery.

Thurs., Dec. 11 rolled around and it was just two short days until the party. The suit still had not arrived. At this point, Santa had alerted Christmas party host, Kathy Haugse, to keep a close eye out for the suit at the grocery store where Federal Express often stops.

Kathy thought she was in luck when Federal Express delivery gal, Mary Wargin, showed up at the grocery store with a package on the evening of Thur., Dec. 11. Unfortunately, the package was too small to hold a suit. Kathy inquired about Santa’s suit; Mary didn’t know anything about it; and the panic set in. Kathy expressed to Mary how bad they needed that suit, so Mary began by calling her office to track the suit. All she got was more bad news and everything pointed toward the suit somehow getting transfered to the United States Postal Service.

“I think it was actually still sitting in Superior,” said Mary. “I didn’t like the way things were going.”

Mary decided to take some action. She was not going to let those kids down and besides that, Kathy had helped her countless times when she needed directions finding an address in the Tamarack area.

Mary got on the phone to her best friend back in her home town of Munger. Her request, to find a replacement suit for Santa before 10:00 Saturday. “The wheels were in motion before I left,” said Mary. “By the time I arrived home that evening, I had seven phone calls and two suits waiting for me. All I had to do was pick the best one and deliver it on my route Friday.”

Meanwhile, Santa and Mrs. Claus were getting more nervous. On Fri. morning, they spotted a Federal Express truck at the Amoco in McGregor and they quickly looped around the Dairy Queen and sped over to the gas station. When they found the driver, they inquired about the suit. Unfortunately, the driver was from Brainerd. Their delivery was supposed to come from Duluth.

“So we headed over to Wright to buy some feed for the reindeer,” said Mrs. Claus, “and we spotted another Federal Express truck.” Santa and Mrs. Claus wasted little time. They chased the truck down and found Mary. What they didn’t know was that Mary had a suit, a replacement suit. Santa asked for his new suit, but Mary explained that this was not the suit he purchased, but one that she spent the night tracking down to give to Kathy. Santa took the suit to Sam’s grocery and tried it on.

It fit.

They then departed for home, where they found a package sitting on their doorstep. The suit they had ordered in the first place had arrived with just a few hours to spare before the big party in Tamarack the next day. So the two headed back to Sam’s to try on the new suit.

It also fit.

The next day, 40-plus children arrived to sit on Santa’s lap and make requests for that special gift. Each child received a treat and smiles filled the room.

Mary wanted to come to the party, but had a previous engagement. She now knows that everything worked out. She still can see the look on Kathy’s face when she reported that Santa didn’t have a suit for the big party in Tamarack. She was glad she could help.

In addition to Mary’s kind deed, several monetary donations from community members made the event a success. “Things are never perfect,” said Kathy. “You just have to enjoy and have fun with whatever is thrown your way. That’s what Christmas is all about!”

This article first appeared in the December 16, 2003 issue of the Voyageur Press.