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Every year he seems to make his annual visits to schools, churches and civic functions. He appears at most every school and he greets everyone with a smile and a hearty Ho Ho Ho.
And he’s not even a local politician.
Santa Claus is loved all over the world, but always seems to treat Bullitt County in a special way this time of year. He spreads so much happiness to everyone that it seems like the most special time of all.
Sometimes almost too special: As a cynical journalist, I was curious as to why this man continued to visit and leave gifts for seemingly no other reason than to make others happy.
Through an open records request, The Pioneer News was able to obtain portions of Claus’ travel log pertaining to the area over the past calendar year.
According to last year’s Christmas Eve trek, Santa arrived in Bullitt County around midnight. He began visiting homes in the Mount Washington area first. Some excerpts from the Claus travel log listed below:
- 12:08 a.m., Kings Church area: Store-bought milk and cookies, uncleaned carrots for reindeer, large screen television stuck in chimney - elves called to scene for removal.
- 12:14 a.m., Deatsville Road area: New aggressive puppy snagged ball on hat - elves called to scene for general knitting. Sleigh caved in carport - elves called to scene for reconstruction.
- 12:18 a.m., near Highway 434 in Lebanon Junction: Cookies were great, egg nog was warm. Accidentally clogged toilet - elves called in to replace pipes.
- 12:20 a.m., Lebanon Junction area: Head temporarily caught in pipe of pot-bellied stove - kick by Blitzen lodged it free.
- 12:23 a.m., Horsefly Hollow vicinity - Pot shots at reindeer team. Bullitt County Sheriffs Office contacted. Still waiting to file report (According to updates, Santa Claus is still waiting).
- 12:28 a.m., Beech Grove Road area - Multitude of children waiting up to see me, all using text messaging to network and canvass area. Will return later.
- 12:32 a.m., Cedar Grove area - Fixed tree lights, changed a diaper, Vixen experienced stomach flu on garage roof - elves called in for clean-up.
- 12:36 a.m., Downtown Shepherdsville - Filled stocking of county judge and magistrates. Someone had already placed coal in magistrates’ stockings. Judge left catered milk and cookies.
- 12:37 a.m., Highway 44 area: Broke up fight following car accident. Gave directions to lost truck driver.
- 12:38 a.m., N. Buckman Street area: Left new socks and underwear for cynical journalist.
- 12:44 a.m., Hillview area: Greeted by a Mr. Jean at airport, told his gift list was returned to sender due to USPS zip code issues.
- 12:45 a.m., Hillview area: Used magic watch to stop time due to unexpected city annexations.
- 12:49 a.m., Brooks Hill Road area: Scolded owner of would-be slaughterhouse for offering to purchase reindeer team. Prancer almost arrested in incident - elves called to scene for legal mitigation.
- 12:52 a.m., Mt. Eden Road area: Heated discussion with Tooth Fairy over child wishing for two front teeth for Christmas.
- 12:58 a.m., Nichols area: Ran out of toys for very good boys and girls - elves called in to replenish sleigh. Reindeer took five-minute bathroom break near Ft. Knox.
There were no signs of political favoritism in the travel log, except possibly the catered milk and cookies left by Judge/Executive Melanie Roberts.
The judge was unavailable for comment; However, Deputy Judge/Executive Lisa Craddock said the catered milk and cookies were likely leftovers from the annual courthouse Christmas party.
Further North Pole records, some listed below, show Claus’ preparations for this year’s visit. One letter, addressed to Bullitt County Public Schools superintendent Keith Davis last in May, inquired about naughty students.
“In this district we don’t feel any of our students should be labeled as such,” Davis responded. “If they are, that’s up to law enforcement officials or judges to decide, maybe even Mr. Claus. We are here to help and support our student base.”
In June the Bullitt County Detention Center received a letter, primarily inquiring as to which inmates should be reverted back to the nice list.
“(Inmates) are here as a punishment, but it also our job to try and rehabilitate,” said jailer Martha Knox. “Everyone needs a little Christmas spirit.”
Post offices in Bullitt County reported receiving many Santa letters marked “return to sender” from he North Pole in September and October.
Hymie Clinkleringer, an attorney representing the North Pole Chamber of Commerce, defended the action, saying it was not uncommon for Santa letters arriving too early in the year to not be delivered.
“Not to worry, we’ll eventually get all of them and we’ll read all of them,” said Clinkleringer. He also mentioned North Pole statute 1225-Hoho-sc27-3, pertaining to Santa “not being required to deliver any nor all list requests.”
Threatening his own career, this cynical journalist discovered discrepancies made between Santa’s home address and The Pioneer News.
Editor Thomas J. Barr informed that Santa Claus was indeed not paying for a full subscription. Based on a gentleman’s agreement, Barr said Claus received, and deserved, at least a senior citizen’s discount.
Barr added that the fright each year for Santa from running into sports editor Mike Farner late at night in the office led to the additional discount.
“Basically we send him issues that include letters to Santa by local schools,” said Barr. “It’s one of those little things we’re always doing to help our community.”
Barr did not run a press release from the official North Pole newspaper, The Joy-Spreader, stating that Bullitt County was declared a high-alert area this season.
According to the report, fighting pertaining to annexations, tax districts, speed humps, sewer service and rates, traffic issues, financial woes and bad overall manners led to the possibility of Claus bypassing the county altogether.
In conclusion, this cynical journalist has determined that Claus is on the up-and-up, with no personal agendas or politics influencing his lifelong decision to deliver gifts and good cheer throughout the world.
This cynical journalist also advises the people of Bullitt county that you better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, and I’m telling you, at this time, why: If you don’t, then Santa Claus is not coming to town.
To all, a good night - and good luck!