Posts tagged with: Santa

On the 10th day of Christmas, I went back in time.

Santa's rideOne thing about writers, we tend to research.  It doesn’t really matter what the genre is, there’s always something that requires more in-depth knowledge than we normally possess.  Therefore it should not be a surprise to learn that I did a bit of research into the physics of time-travel in the course of writing CHARMING THE PROFESSOR.  I read several books about time theories and it’s relation to space and gravity.  I watched endless videos to explain the basics of quantum physics.

So it is with some authority that I can state that… Santa Claus is a time-traveler.

It’s true.  Consider Einstein’s theory that says time slows as one approaches the speed of light.  It’s been said that in order for Santa to visit all the houses of good little children to deliver presents in the 32 hours available to him in this one night (that’s the true number ofAlbert_Einstein_Head hours given time zones and the earth’s rotation), Santa would have to travel three times the speed of light.  At that speed, time would reverse – didn’t the movie SUPERMAN show this to be true? (And isn’t there a clear resemblence between Santa and Einstein – hmmm?)

Also, it’s been proven that time slows as one moves away from a gravatational force.  Thus time goes by more slowly for those that live/work at the top of a skyscraper than for those at street level.  (Of course, those at the top have to wait for the elevators to take them down, causing them to waste their found seconds of time.)  Santa Claus travels at heights that would laugh at gravity thus giving him more than the necessary 32 hours to deliver gifts.

So the jolly old elf must be a time-traveler!

CharmingtheProfessorfinalAllow me to present an excerpt from CHARMING THE PROFESSOR to help explain time travel.  In this excerpt, Madeline is a French charm teacher who has been transported to modern day New Orleans.  She’s trying to get home and her best bet is Professor Grant Stewart who teaches quantum physics at Tulane University. She doesn’t come right out and tell him of her plight because telling the wrong person could land her in a straight-jacket.  So she’s feeling him out to see where he stands on the issue of time-travel.

“Every year,” he said. “My quantum students talk about building a H. G. Well’s time machine. Just climb aboard and select your year.”

          “A time machine?” Her disappointment lifted. “Where might I find this Mr. Wells?” Perhaps that gentleman could return her home.

          “In a library.” Grant frowned. “It was fiction, Madeline. Don’t you remember H. G. Wells and the Time Machine? Or The Island of Doctor Moreau, or The War of the Worlds?” He shook his head, returning his gaze to the road ahead. “So many people confuse actual science with science fiction.”

          Frustration extinguished her brief flare of hope. Now what was she to do? She’d been so certain that escaping from the iron gates into the company of a time professor was not just coincidence. Even Doc and his voodoo saints thought Professor Stewart held the answer. At least Doc and Cici believed that she had somehow stumbled into this period from the past. Professor Stewart clearly would not.

          “Right now there’s an experiment with entangled particles that holds promise,” he said. “A transporter may result from that discovery. Of course, a transportation device like the one on Star Trek is still decades away. It wouldn’t connect the strings of time, but a transporter…that would be a step into the future.”

          “Strings of time?” She dismissed the confusing combination of otherwise ordinary words, like entangled and particles, stars and trek. “What are strings of time?”

          “That’s right. You missed my lecture last night.” He glanced quickly her way. “Thank you for coming, by the way, you were a life saver. Sometimes Kimmy can be a handful, and if you hadn’t come when you did…”

          “Professor,” she urged softly. “Strings of time?”string theory research

          “Yes. There’s a theory that our existence occurs on a specific string of time, simultaneously with other strings that hold alternate existences. Thus, our medieval past might be occurring in real time on one string and our distant future on another string. Some scientists believe these strings to be an infinite number of bubbles on a plane in space called a brane, but the entire concept is still called string theory.”

          “That is astounding.” She felt her jaw might have unhinged at the discovery and dangled unattractively. She quickly composed herself. “This is what you spoke of yesterday?” she asked. “I would have liked to have heard your speech.”

          Perhaps his speech was the very reason fate had led her to this professor. She needed to hear his speech. And yet once again she’d managed to miss the opportunity. Still, she couldn’t dwell on her disappointment, not with a time professor with such valuable information seated next to her.

          “What happens if two strings were to touch,” she asked. “Say a string from the medieval past and our string of the present?”

          “Then it might be possible for an armor-clad knight to chase a dragon down Canal Street.” He laughed. “But the fact that such an occurrence only happens as playacting proves that such time collisions are not possible.”

          A time collision…could that have been what happened? She’d survived the colliding of strings? But if that were the case, why did the others touring the foundry not follow her in this collision? Why was she alone in this dilemma? She shook her head. None of that mattered now. What mattered was finding the way back.

ScotlandChristmasReunion B&NWe all know that Christmas is a magical night when miracles can occur.  If you could travel to any time past or future, where would you go?  Don’t worry, you’ll be back in time for the opening of presents on Christmas morning.  Let’s take a peek at a time-traveling Christmas (Hey, Scrooge did it – so can we!)  Someone leaving a comment will win a copy of the short story: Scotland Christmas Reunion.  Thank you to Think Geek for the string theory cartoon.

To add a little New Orleans to your holiday, add some creamy pralines 🙂 .     Creamy Pecan Pralines recipe

To add a little break from all the Christmas madness, consider a copy of Charming the Professor.  It’s bound to put a smile on your face.

Amazon     Nook    ibooks

Or for when you only have time for a short story, Scotland Christmas Reunion

Amazon        Nook      ibooks

Merry Christmas everyone!

 

You’ve Come A Long Way, Santa

When I was a little girl, Santa was a fat guy in a screaming red and white suit, with a white beard and a list.

Santa flipped

  That’s how he always looked.  

Sometimes his face looked mean—a little on the evil side depending on the depiction– but most of the “Santa” images were of a jolly, happy, kind-looking Santa, much like this one on the left. 

Doesn’t he look like a nice guy, laying his finger aside of his nose, about to nod his head and ascend through the narrow chimneSanta evily?

Back then, Santa’s  face was pretty much the only thing that varied.   Some of them looked absolutely evil.  This guy on the right isn’t too bad, but doesn’t he look like he has some mischief afoot? 

As a child, even into my teens, I didn’t realize that the “fat guy in a bright red suit” imagery was fairly new, or that it had evolved over a long, long time, and that Santa did not always look exactly like this.

But I nesanta traditionalver did much like that suit.

I suppose, even as a little girl, the beginnings of the Martha Stewart Mini-Me that I would eventually become…well…they were already in place.  I swear I don’t know where I got these tendencies.

I loved Santa back then.  But even as a little girl, when I looked at Christmas decorations in the stores, I just wasn’t into that red suit.  

Yes, I was an odd child.  I won’t deny it.

As I grew older,  I’d see those Santa dolls –you know the ones that are two or three feet tall, with fabric outfits–meant to be put out  as decorations either inside or outside, but I never wanted one for my house.  They just didn’t appeal.  santa 19-old-world-father-christmas-santa-claus-figure-with-burgundy-robe-and-gifts linens and things

Then it happened.

A few years after I was married, I was walking by the window of an upscale department store when I saw a Santa that made me stop and stare. 

He was not in a bright red suit.  He was in a robe.  Not screaming red.  It was deep dark burgundy.  The fur trim was off white and looked old. 

Now I know he’d be called an “Old World Santa,” but those weren’t around back then–or at least I hadn’t seen one.   This one on the right is not him, but he has the same look.   This is an Old World Santa from Linens ‘n Things.

After that, I started noticing more and more versions of Santa that were not the clownish guy I grew up with, but were based more on Father Christmas—the old world version of Santa. 

Santa woodland 3Not long after that, I was in another store and I saw “Woodland Santa” with leaves and pine cones in a wreath around his head, and a long robe of what looked like fur-trimmed burlap.  He had on snowshoes and there was a deer standing at his side.  In one hand was a staff made of a tree branch, and in the other, a lantern.  He had a rough knapsack over his shoulder.  His cheeks were still rosy and his beard long and white. 

It was just my style.  I love primitive antiques, log cabins, barns and woods. I had found my Santa.

I was in school at the time, and we were flat broke, so I couldn’t afford him.  Unfortunately,  I’ve never seen one  like him since, but I’d had my “Santa Awakening.”   This one on the left is similar.  It’s another version of “Woodland Santa”

Back then, all of these were “designer” Santas and were WAY too spendy for my budget, but I could still stare at them and imagine how they’d look in my future house, standinSanta woodland costcog on my future hearth beside the future fireplace.

Flash forward a few years.  Really cool Santas have come down in price, and now they’re available everywhere,  as common as Bright-red-suit Santa. 

Here’s another version of “Woodland Santa” on the right.  This one is available at Costco.  Doesn’t he look rugged and ready for some serious outdoor trekking?  Even if his sleigh breaks down, ala the movie “Elf,”  this Santa could still get where he needed to go.

FAther Christmas close up Now, thanks to the internet and shops like Etsy, there are doll makers who specialize in a zillion different versions of Santa Claus, like this Father Christmas in a fur cloak on the left. You can see the rest of him if you click on the link. He’s amazing.

Looking around the web, I found one particular doll maker whose work I absolutely love, and she was kind enough to give me permission to share her Santas with you here on the blog. 

Her name is Bona Lowery, and her Santas are stunning, one-of-a kind pieces of art, but many of them  cost far less than you’d think for such beautiful work.

If you click on the links, you can see the detail in these Santas in the bigger pictures.

Santa Cabin Bona LoweryThis is her  Cabin Santa on the left.   Cabin Santa is holding a little log cabin, and I love his fur-trimmed robe. 

On her site,  Santa Creations by Bona, she has a snippet about the history of Santa Claus. 

Pre-modern representations of the gift-giver from church history and folklore, notably St Nicholas and Sinterklaas, merged with the British character Father Christmas to create the character known to Britons and Americans as Santa Claus.

Father Christmas dates back at least as far as the 17th century in Britain, and pictures of him survive from that era, portraying him as a jolly, well-nourished bearded man dressed in a long, green, fur-lined robe.Santa fishing Bona Lowery

Okay so Santa was fat back then, and Santa is still fat.  Even  most old-world Santas and Father Christmas figures have a belly.  Every one of us feels the pressures of current fashion, but not Santa.   Santa is, thus far, immune.  

Thank goodness. 

I understand from my friends who write historical romance that centuries ago, having a little fat on you was a sign that you were well-off.  You could afford to eat all you wanted, regularly,  and you could eat yummy stuff that most people couldn’t get.   The common folk were lucky to eat at all, and worked off what they did eat.  So, not only was Santa doing okay for himself, he was also generous, especially toward kids.

Here are more Santas by Ms. Lowery.   That’s Fishing Santa on the right, complete with his tackle. 

Santa silver wreath bona lowery

  On the left is Silver Wreath Santa–less rustic, and more in keeping with the sparkle of the season.

Nowadays there are Santas with sheep, Santas with donkeys, and Santas with kittens.

  I’ve seen Santas in sleighs and Santas wearing snowshoes pulling their own sleds, Santas with huskies instead of reindeer pulling the sleigh, and one Santa I saw was riding a polar bear. 

None of them were wearing the bright red suit. I’ve even seen a “Green Man Santa”–the pagan version of Santa– with long gray beard, still carrying the traditional gifts, but wearing a wreath of leaves and sporting antlers on his head. 

Bandita Kate is like me–she’s a wine lover, and she’ll love this next Santa.  It’s a wine rack, anSanta Karen-Didion-Originals-Crakewood-Santa-Claus-5-Bottle-Tabletop-Wine-Rackd Santa is enjoying a glass of his favorite.

 The photo on the right  is of the Karen Didion Originals Crakewood Santa Claus 5-bottle Tabletop Wine Rack. 

I had not heard of Karen Didion, but she was all over the internet when I went looking for Santas, and I absolutely loved everything I saw of hers.  I think she’s brilliant.   I found her Santas at Wayfair.com. 

If you click on the link and  look at the photos, you see the Santa wine rack from all directions. Plus, the wire barrel holds wine corks.    Did I already say this Santa designer is brilliant? 

Santa Karen Didion originalsYes, she is.

 

Here’s another of her Santas on the left. Victorian Santa Claus.

Father Christmas dolls qvc

 Awesome Santas are not just from fancy designers.  They’re everywhere.  The Father Christmas Dolls on the right were from QVC.  

The one below, on the left, is from Lowe’s.  I *think* those are snowshoes strapped on his back, though I’m not certain.

Santa from Lowe'sBottom line? 

Santa is stylin’.

He’s no longer just a guy in a red suit.

I had a bit of an epiphany while I was writing this post and searching for awesome Santas.  If I fall in love with a Santa decoration, it’s probably because it looks nothing like the traditional guy in a red suit,  and everything like a Wizard. 

It seems the more Wizard-like the Santa is, the more I love it.  

I never thought of Santa as a Wizard before, but he does have the pointy, floppy hat.  And how else does he get up and down the chimney–and fly all over the world in one night?

Just sayin’.

What about you, Bandits and Buddies? 

What sort of Santa appeals to you?

Did you grow up with the “Bright red-and-white suit” Santa?

If you celebrate another holiday, what are your decorations like?  Do you like bright and sparkly?  Or do you prefer colors and designs that are more subdued for a holiday?

If you decorate for Christmas, do you choose Screaming-red-suit Santa?

Or do you like the old-world Santas better?

Do you have any Santa figurines or dolls like the ones in the photos?

What says “Santa” to you?  

It’s ALMOST HERE! Tomorrow is Day 1 of our annual 12 Bandita Days of Christmas!  Prizes every day, plus extra goodies for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.   Be sure to stop by the blog each day between now and Christmas and leave a comment to be in the drawings.