Ho Ho Hello

It’s that time of the year. Forget old-school sugarplums, children are tucked in with visions of FurReal and Wii in their heads. Santa is changing with the times as well. In this age of email birthday “cards” and voicemail breakups, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Santa is spending less time listening in person at the mall. He now phones the little ones to check his lists against their current wishes. (He has a great unlimited calling plan.)

It also should be no shock that St. Nick has outsourced the calls to a cadre of specially trained long distance operators. (Who, since the advent of international direct dialing, are greatly underutilized. Most would be out-of-work save for the very strong LDO union. Very strong. Hoffa crossed them. Once.)

Economic and sociological changes aside, a memo from the City of Lakeland has announced that our little Lakeland elementary school tykes should expect their calls Tuesday, December 8th from 5:30pm to 8pm.

However, Santa has been hit from the recent economic woes, and not every child can get a call. The jolly fat man has limited the “ho-ho-hellos” to those special few who have parents caring enough to fill out a form.

The “Santa’s Calling” form can be found at LakelandGov.Net or picked up at:

• Kelly Recreation Complex – 404 Imperial Boulevard
• Simpson Park Community Center – 1725 MLK Jr. Boulevard
• City Hall – 228 S. Massachusetts Avenue

If you want Santa, or one of his ernestines to give your kiddo a call, make sure you have the form submitted by Monday, December 7th. You can fax your form to 863-648-3173 or return it to one of the above locations. Just get it in by Monday, December 7th. If you’re late, Santa will mark you “naughty” and junior won’t get his call.