Thursday, June 25, 2015

Better to Give

Last weekend was the first day of Summer. You call it the longest day of the year, but here in the North Pole, the Sun stays out all day and all night for five months straight! Kinda makes it hard to see all the Christmas lights.
Daddy with the reindeer. The North Pole is bathed in 24 hours of daylight during the summer.
The Summer Solstice also fell on Father’s Day this year, which is always a troubling time for me. Giftgiving is one of the most important skills you can have in the North Pole. I love Presents class at N.P.H., but our teacher, Mr. Polar Bear, is pretty easy to please, as long as you gift him something that tastes like seal.

Then Father’s Day rolls around and I realize how high school has once again failed to prepare me for real life. I mean, what do you get the man who’s the best in the world at giving Presents?

Last year I knitted him a Christmas sweater that said, “World’s Greatest Dad.” Do you know how much yarn it takes to make a sweater for a guy his size? Let’s just say there were a lot of cold Alpacas last fall. And he never wore it once. My dad’s a little set in his ways, fashion-wise. When was the last time you saw him in anything but that red suit of his?
So I asked Chefy to help me make Daddy a jelly bean souffle, but he still hasn’t forgotten the last time he let me use his kitchen to make spaghetti and I didn’t put the lid on a pot and the bubble gum sauce got all over everything. Then I checked with one of Daddy’s top elves to see what new toys they were cooking up for next Christmas, but Daddy already gets one of everything they create.

Finally I had Tinsel help me chisel a beautiful Ice Sculpture of Daddy and I merrily wrapped it up and placed it under our Father’s Day tree by the fireplace. Well, you can probably guess what happened when he opened it. First he was drenched by the melted Present, then by my tears. I’d tried so hard to give him something special.
My ice sculpture of Daddy might have looked something like this one from Ice Visions, before it melted. :(
But Daddy just smiled and said, “Ho, ho, ho. ’Tis all good, Candycane. I’m much happier giving gifts than receiving them.” Then he proved it by giving me a gift: a great big hug!

“You’re the best dad in the whole wide world,” I told him. And he said that hearing that was the best Father’s Day present ever. My dad rocks!

Merry Half-Christmas, everyone!
http://www.northpolehigh.com/2014/06/merry-half-christmas.html

Monday, June 1, 2015

Top Ten Reasons We Miss Letterman

At numbers one through ten, the Top Ten things the North Pole misses about the David Letterman show are the annual performances of Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by Darlene Love.

Darlene Love sings "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" with Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra on The Late Show with David Letterman

The first single and only original song from Phil Spector's 1963 Christmas album, A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records, initially failed to catch on, having been released on the same day as the John F. Kennedy assassination, kicking off one of the bleakest Christmas seasons in American history.

President and Mrs. Kennedy in front of their Christmas tree in 1963

Eventually, the song would be recognized as a classic thanks to Paul Shaffer bringing Ms. Love back every year since 1986 to revive the ditty on national television. Ranked the #1 Greatest Rock and Roll Christmas Song in 2010 by Rolling Stone, Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) has been covered by U2, Mariah Carey, and, on the 2013 CMA Country Christmas special, by Lucy Hale from Pretty Little Liars.



Have a happy Wall of Sound!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Yes, Virginia, Santa's Coming Back This Year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Santa's annual Christmas deliveries have become an eagerly anticipated annual tradition around the world. But one little girl is worried that Santa won't come back this year due to a mishap during his visit last year.


When reached for comment at his home in the North Pole, Santa Claus said, "Ho, ho, ho. Of course I'm coming back this year!" A spokeself for Santa's Workshop announced earlier today that Santa has once again selected December 25th, exactly 11 months from today, as the date of his next visit. Experts recommend staying on Santa's Nice List until then, as Mr. Claus is expected to load lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh.

William Hardy and Billy Moore wrote Santa Claus Got Stuck in My Chimney in 1950. The song was originally recorded by jazz great Ella Fitzgerald. You can download her version for just 69 cents at Amazon.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Penguin Awareness Day

January 20th is Penguin Awareness Day!

Many astute readers of my book, North Pole High: A Rebel Without a Claus, have asked me how is is that my family has a penguin for a chef.

As everybody knows, penguins are found in Antarctica, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Peru, the Falkland Islands, and the Galapagos Islands -- NOT in the North Pole.

Well, it's a short story. Literally. Shortly after my book came out, I released a collection of short stories by some of my closest friends. Chefy's story of how he came to live in the North Pole is one of those. Here's a taste:

The First Welcoming Feast (Excerpt)
by Chefy

An oral history of Chefy, as told to Candycane Claus.

Chefy, the Claus family's penguin chef, from North Pole High. Penguin Awareness Day.
My story? Why, thank you for asking. I am beyond flattered. Nobody here ever wishes to be regaled by my glorious tales from the south lands, much less comes straight out and requests to hear one.

Let me see. Where to begin? I was hatched by my father many, many years ago on the South Shetland Islands, where I developed an interest in cooking at an early age. I simply could not stomach my parents’ food preparation methods. You see, first they’d eat my meal themselves—to ensure it was not poisonous, they’d say—then regurgitate the already digested food into my beak. Now I ask you, is that any way for a young chick to enjoy the sumptuous taste of a fine kettle of fish?

Are you getting all of this? Please do let me know if I am going too fast.

Anyway, by the time my adult feathers came in, I had already invented a number of signature dishes out of little more than snow, ice, rocks, calling bird feathers, and magic algae from the floor of the sea. One day I waddled up to my parents and said, “Excuse me, please, but I have decided to be a chef.”

My older brother fell in the snow and rolled about, laughing.

“And just whom, pray tell, do you plan to chef for?” my mother nay-said, slurping a mollusk off her webbed foot. “Not everyone in the South Pole is a fussy eater like you. Most of us are fine with our food the way it comes.”

“If our baby wishes to spend his life wearing that funny hat and an apron,” my father began, in his grandest attempt to sound supportive, “what harm could it do?”

To show my commitment to my new occupation, I decided to change my name. “From now on, I want you all to call me Chefy.”

To my delightful surprise, they agreed to comply with this instruction, though that may have been more because my given penguin name, Ejarkthamaptonaraaliey Yennnnisferiptidognoman, was so difficult to pronounce. The ‘g’ is silent.

“And to answer your question, mother, it is my dream to one day cook an immense feast for His Honor, Mr. Claus.”

* * * * *

I guess it's not that short a story. If you want to learn the true story behind the South Pole Flying Seal Think Tank and the subsequent North and South Polar Trade Agreement and how it all led to my father discovering Chefy and bringing his talents to the North Pole, then celebrate Penguin Awareness Day with North Pole High: Beginnings, available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play.
North Pole High: Beginnings, a collection of short origin stories compiled and edited by Candace Jane Kringle, author of North Pole High: A Rebel Without a Claus

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmastime is past...


Christmastime is past.
Santa had a blast.
Girls and boys all got new toys.
Now sleep is here at last.

Santa crashes after a long night of delivering toys.