Santa Claus and Rudolph: New Plans and Directions?

Written by Harold McNeill on October 28th, 2016. Posted in Christmas Stories


P1170295The above scene is from 2016. This year (2020) we have moved  Santa’s workshop back to this location in a slightly altered form.

Location: 4402 Leney Place at Viaduct Ave East (off Viewmont, behind the Royal Oak Shopping Centre)

November 23, 2020.  Over the past couple of weeks, we have been busy adding new home crafted decorations on the tree at the corner.  These decorations were made from laser-cut items along with odds and sods from our laser leftovers box.  Lynn McNeill (Santa’s helper) is a whiz at whipping these crafts together, then painting the pieces of 1/8th inch plywood (photo below). The ornaments range in size from 6 – 11 inches.


For a full line of art kits produced by the rest of Santa’s team at the McTavish Academy of Art (1720 Mctavish Road, North Saanich) link to their web site.

December 14, 2013, 4402 Leney Place, Saanich, B.C.
(A Note from Santa Claus and his wife Angelina)

 Santa Claus and Rudolph: New Plans and Directions?
A message from Mr. and Mrs. Clause

Hello Santa Believers,

The new Santa Workshop and Team Training Area are ready. Just to let you know, Mrs. Clause and I  have stepped back from full-time work but we will be around to manage this new shop while my younger brother, Kris Kringle, takes over delivery duty his new sleigh. Rudolf’s oldest son, Rudolph Junior, will now lead the team.  The full story of these changes is posted in the October story below.  Many thanks to all the animals, elves and young people who worked day and night to get things ship-shape for the new season.

In the current shop set up, a small pathway leads to a photo area in front of the Workshop. If you email a copy of your photo to harold@mcneillifestories.com, it will be posted and linked to the blog story. If anyone wishes to leave a note for Kris Kringle, Rudolph, or one of the other deer or workers, please place it in Santa’s Mailbox. Answers will be posted in the comments section of this post.  You may also post your comment below.

You are invited to walk up to the front door of the workshop, but please stay within the confines of the path

In the past the McNeill Family have set aside various nights for Carol Singing, Hot Chocolate and Marshmallows Roasting “on an open fire” but due to the current COVID19 lockdown, we are just happy to have you drive by and enjoy the scene.

The display will be open from dusk until 1:00 am daily and on weekends until January 2, 2021.  The tree on the corner will remain lite until the Covid19 lockdown is over.

The best of the season to you and your family.

Santa and Angelina Clause

October 28, 2013: Original Story (continues)

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Helping Santa get the new team in shape

Dear Kids,

As you might guess, big changes are coming, but don’t worry, Santa, Rudolph, their family, and friends have a plan and that plan is good news for Victoria and Canada. It is especially good news for kids all around the world.

It all began in early October when Santa dropped by my home office to tell me that both he and Rudolph would be retiring from full-time service. Of course, I was shocked, “Retiring, you can’t be serious guys, what about all the children who look forward to your yearly visit, what happens to their Christmas?”

“Not to worry Harold, we are just making a few changes to take some pressure off Rudolph and me.  We also need to improve our manufacturing and delivery service as the population of the world expands,” said Santa as Rudolph stood beside him eagerly nodding his head.  His little red nose twinkled with delight.

Whew, that was a relief! For the past thirty years the three of us, along with several helpers have become very close as we prepared for Christmas; first at our hobby farm off Interurban in West Saanich, then, for the past twenty-five years, at our current home in the Royal Oak area. Now, a lot more change is coming to our home and to the world.

Link Here for More Photos on Facebook

For years I have watched the two of them work flat out as they prepared for Christmas and I understand their decision to step back.  After four decades of heavy lifting, hard landings on rooftops, to say nothing of that constant pressure of time change – Santa has been left with insomnia and a bad
Global Warmingback. Rudolph, the poor little doffer, has arthritis in all four knees – a little rest is just what Doctor Seuss ordered.

Photo:  Even though global warming has changed conditions at the North Pole, it remains very cold for much of the year.

As it turns out, the two are not flying off into the sunset.  I learned that for some time now, Santa has been planning to open a branch workshop and to begin a two-team system.

He considered the South Pole as a possible location for the second shop but decided the warmer weather on Southern Vancouver Island would provide a much-needed change for many of the workers who have spent most of their lives at the frigid North Pole. He also felt a strong obligation to keep the entire operation in Canada, as that had been the wish of both his father, Claus Senior, and Grandfather Claus before him.

While the one plant system served the Claus family well, in recent years the rapidly expanding world population, particularly in the Eastern Hemisphere, has placed immense pressure on the single outlet. Building a branch office and shop on Leney Place to serve the Western Hemisphere, made perfect sense.

Santa told me he has appointed his younger brother, Kris Kringle, to take over manufacturing and deliveries at the North Pole. The North Pole plant will service the East, while his brother-in-law, Saint Nickolas, will handle deliveries to the West. Santa will oversee day-to-day operations at the western shop being built at Leney Place. Hence, if happen to drive by Leney Place, you will see two Santa’s.

Santa also told me that Rudolph has assumed the role of CFO (Chief Flying Officer) and is responsible for checking out the two new team leaders and team members on the new high tech equipment that was in part developed by the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Rudolph’s son, Rudolph Junior will lead the Western team and his sister, Ruby, will lead the Eastern team.  It was a landmark decision as it will be the first time a Doe (♫ a deer, a female deer ♫ – oh, I digress) has been named as Team Leader.  I am sure her Ruby Red Nose will delight children just as much as Rudolph’s “crimson red” nose.

Of the eight regulars flyers, four – Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, and Vixen, will fly in the West; Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen, in the East. It appears the new, lightweight equipment does not require the same deer power.  Rudolph explained that the new energy-efficient Step Takeoff and Landing (STOL) sleigh only requires five P1110235deer.  The two teams will rotate back and forth between Hemispheres each year.  Ruby will make her first appearance in the West in 2014 – an event that is eagerly anticipated.

Friends and neighbours in the Royal Oak area of Saanich may have noticed considerable building activity on Leney Place over November as the surveyors set out stakes and cut back some trees and treetops for the new toyshop and runway.

Photo: Rudolf, Harold, Santa and Rudolf’s wife, Angelina, check the threshold of the new runway.

Due to a delay in the arrival of some construction material, the new shop and sleigh will not become visible until shortly after December 10. In the lead photo, you have been given just a sneak peek at the equipment and deer.

Late at night, over the next few weeks, neighbours and passersby may notice the occasional rush of air and clatter on the rooftop at 4402 Leney Place as Saint Nick, Rudolph, and the team practice the new glide slope routines. The glide slope is now visible from space.  Lynn and I are not sure how our new roof is going to stand up to all those practice landings and takeoffs.

Note: Due to the Covid19 Lockdown, the Meet and Greet is cancelled

In keeping with tradition on Leney Place, Santa will host an occasional meet and greet during the Christmas season. Hot chocolate, along with ♫ Marshmallows roasting on an open fire ♫, (again, I digress) will be available.

The dates of the Meet and Greet will be posted beside Santa and Rudolf who will be greeting friends and neighbours to Leney Place. The dates will also be posted on this Blog as well as notifications by Facebook and other social media. An area has marked out for taking photographs of children and adults in front of Santa’s Workshop.  If you stand on the street (an X is marked on the roadway) you can get a shot of the workshop and the Santa’s team taking off.

Oh, and kids, Santa told me you can leave a note on this blog as he occasionally logs in to see what is happening in this area. He may even drop you a note!

Merry Christmas to All

Harold and Lynn McNeill
4402 Leney Place,
Victoria, BC

More Christmas and New Years’ stories are posted in the Christmas section of the left side of the Home Page.

Link Here for More Photos on Facebook

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Christmas 2012: Santa and a few of the Reindeer have a team meeting during which they discuss plans
for a new shop on Leney Place.

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Lynn introduces Auntie Marcia (Pick) to a few of the deer from Santa’s team.

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Joy and Noel, (now located by the tree at Leney and Viaduct Ave East, have been with our family since 2002 and have become regular members of Santa’s work crew

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This chap dropped by on his Harley Davidson (complete with horns) to see if he could apply to become
the leader of one of Santa’s new teams.  Santa was so impressed with his interview that he was invited back
to greet kids and adults at a few of the Meet and Greet Marshmallow and Hot Chocolate Nights that will be held over the
holiday season.

Santa's-workshop-group-new-

Santa and his helpers are always extremely busy at his workshop at the North Pole, but with a new shop
planned for Victoria it will take some of the pressure off.

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Santa directs the building of scale mockups in Harold’s Office.

 

Sean and Erika Christmas Eve 2014

December 24, 2013  Christmas Eve reading of the Night Before Christmas by Sean McNeill with Erika Simonsen and Bailey handling the bells while Audrey Leclair and Lila Charko intently listen.  For more photos of the story go to Getting in the Spirit  (FB Friends)

NOTE: This article was originally posted on October 23, 2013. (Dec 2017)

Broadmead Runners 3

Link here for more copies of these photos.

Broadmead Runners 4

December 18, 2014:  Fifty members of the Broadmead Runners arrived at Santa’s Workshop to have their annual photo taken. (Double Click Photos to Open to Full Size)  (Scroll down to Christmas 2013 for the last year group).
The original small group of Runners (about 10) first appeared in 2011.  Link Here Christmas 2011 (and scroll down through photos to #9 and #10 for a few comments on two different groups that arrived that year.

Christmas 2014 Leney Place

December 6, 2014:  The first kids of the season take a trip down Candy Cane Lane to Santa’s Workshop.s:  Above: Alex, Kyle, Kenyon, Jasmine and Sophia, grandchildren of Julie Anne Coles.

Coming December 17, at 7:00 pm, about 60 members of the Broadmead Runners Group will be dropping by Santa’s Workshop for their Annual Photo. Group members dress for the season and many are covered head to toe with Christmas Lights and various other bells and whistles. If you have a few moments around 6:30 – 6:45 pm, drop by and watch the chaos as the group arrives. Hot chocolate will be served by the fire. Cheers Harold

December 14. The location of 72 residential Christmas Decoration Scenes around Greater Victoria is available in today’s Times Colonist.  The locations are also available on the TC Web Site at Christmas Light Up List
4402 Leney Place is #18 on the list.

Lights on dusk to 1:00 am until further notice.

Welcome to the 2014 Rudolph and Santa’s
Christmas on Leney Place in Saanich (Royal Oak), British Columbia

December 6, 2014. Another year has rolled by and over the past few weeks Santa and his helpers were busy preparing for Christmas.  As outlined last year, Ruby, Rudolph’s daughter, will lead the Southern Team from their Leney Place base, while Rudolph Junior, moves to the North Pole base (see New Plans and Directions on the Blog Post at McNeill Life Stories – the lead story until Christmas).

While Rudolph has stopped flying regularly, he and his wife are both very proud that their son and daughter who, last year, took over as lead Pilot/Navigator on the two teams of reindeer.

When you arrive at Leney Place (Royal Oak of Viewmont and Viaduct Avenue East) please feel free to mosey around by following the straw paths to the various scenes. There are several spots to get a photo with the family. Please stay on or near the straw paths. When taking the path to Santa’s Sleigh and the Snowman Family from his workshop, you can return to the path behind Joy and Noel. For Joy and Noel, If your photographer stands on the driveway, you can get a nice shot with the two deer (see the photo links on the blog for samples from last year).

As you wander down Candy Cane Lane to Santa’s Workshop and along the other straw path keep an eye out for several smaller animals, birds, and figurines waiting to greet you. Many have weird shapes as they have come in from other planets to see how Santa runs his gift-giving business.

An Outdoor Movie Night is being planned for Sunday, December 21, 2013 (weather permitting).   Drop by for a Hot chocolate by the fire as we watch a Disney Christmas Movie under the stars (see, the weather will be great).   (Cancelled for 2020)

Gifts and Dry Goods: When visiting, the metal container by the entrance to Santa’s Workshop is being used to collect items for needy families. Items collected will be delivered to local agencies before Christmas. (Cancelled for 2020)

Merry Christmas
Harold and Lynn

PS: Check out the full story and photos on the Web at McNeill Life Stories. Santa and Rudolf will be the lead story until Christmas.  If you enjoyed the story and scene, please send a note to Santa and Rudolph via the Comments Section.

Continue below for the rest of the story…..

FB Page Photos from 2013 (Link Here)

Christmas 2013

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Christmas Eve 2013:  We were gifted with a beautiful afternoon and evening that allowed us to skip between the hearth and second fireplace crackling away in the area of Santa’s Workshop. During the evening, several people dropped by to grab a hot chocolate and roast a marshmallow over the fire.

At about 7:30 we linked to Kamloops and Sean read the Night Before Christmas to family and friends.  At 8:30 we held the Annual Baileys Taste-Off and, can you believe it, four bottles tied with three votes each. To determine a winner, Lyla drew one number which again leads to Sean winning the Gold Medal.

NOTE: For the full story of the Santa Workshop and area construction link to the photographs below.

FB Page Photos from 2013 (Link Here)

A Full Set of Photos over the evening and last few days is posted on McNeill Life Stories Facebook Page
(LINK HERE).

Christmas Eve 2 at the McNeill’s (LINK HERE)

A Little Shopping then Chase the Seals and Bugs Shopping Bugs (LINK HERE)
(Note: Nan, your photo is in this package)

As several people had requested copies, I have included a few duplicates.  Full-sized images are available on request by either placing a note in the footer of this post, by Facebook Message or comment or sending an email to harold@mcneillifestories.com.

Unfortunately, Santa’s Helper, Ted, was unable to make the trip to Leney Place with his Harley Davidson. We are hopeful he will be able to reschedule for another day during the holiday period.

Image

December 18, 2013.   The Broadmead Runners showed up in force for their annual
photo with Santa, the Reindeer, Elves, Animals, and Birds.  It was tough getting them all in and sorted, but
this photo turned not bad on the little Lumix Camera (click to open photo). In the background, Kris Kringle and his deer continuing
practicing for the big day next week.s

Note: The open Facebook Page in which these photos will be displayed may also be linked at:
Santa and Rudolph: New Directions
C
omments can be made either below or on the Facebook Page.
Please feel free to share the link with your friends.

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December 20, 2013:  This photo and the next three were taken after an overnight snowfall.  It seems the
the heavy canopy of evergreens shielded Santa’s Work Shop.

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December 20, 2013:  The bit of snow overnight appears in the foreground and on the trees this photo.
We are still hopeful a little more snow may arrive at Christmas.

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December 20, 2013:  For nearly 20 years, Joy and Noel continue to bring their infectious smiles to the Christmas Season at the McNeill Home.  The pair was constructed by Harold with Lynn doing an amazing job of painting their faces and costumes. It must have been quality paint as this is the original paint job.

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October 2013.  Harold works on completing the titanium harness system being fitted to the team, while Kris Kringle, Santa’s younger brother, sits in the new energy-efficient titanium sleigh.  On the left Rudolph Junior (now leading the team) chats with his father (greying Reindeer facing him) while his mother, Annalina looks on proudly as her son assumes his new role. On the ground and fence is a sprinkling of those who will be helping out on Leney Place this Christmas.

 

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Comments (6)

  • Tracy
    October 31, 2013 at 9:45 pm |

    We came by with our daughter tonight to see your Halloween decorations (her grandparents live close by). I can’t wait to bring the little one to see the Christmas Decorations! It’s so lovely to see someone putting in so much effort for the enjoyment of others .

  • Harold McNeill
    November 1, 2013 at 7:28 am |

    Thanks Tracy. It is a lot of fun and brings enjoyment to our family. The trick or treaters seemed to come a little later this year, but by 9:00 pm there had been over a hundred. We also went down the street and looked at other displays. That one Viaduct East was very good. I hope you and your daughter had a chance to visit that home also.

  • Grayson
    November 2, 2013 at 10:05 pm |

    Hi Grandpa!
    I really liked your story. I have a question though, what is the wooden house (in you office)for?
    When did the real Santa coming over to your house? Do you think that Santa and his reindeer will be around when I am there?
    Have you met Kris Kringle and Saint Nickolas?
    Looking forward to seeing you and Nana soon!
    Love Grayson

    • Harold McNeill
      November 2, 2013 at 10:23 pm |

      Hi Grayson…glad you enjoyed the story. If you get a chance read it to Audrey. Now your questions: the wooden house in my office was used to help Santa design his new work shop. The shop will be open when you are here. Over the years Santa and I have chatted on a regular basis and he has introduced me to his younger brother Kris Kringle and his brother-in-law Saint Nicholas. Saint Nick will be visiting over the Christmas period, but Kris Kringle will be at the North Pole. Nana and I are very much looking forward to seeing all of you here next month. Love Grandpa and Nana ps make sure to read the story to Audrey.

  • Audrey
    November 4, 2013 at 10:03 am |

    HI Grandpa! Wow, those look like a lot of lights! I sure love lights right now and can’t wait to see what you’ve done! I keep asking mommy how long it is until I get to come visit!! 🙂 Make sure you save some cocoa and marshmallow’s for me!!

    • Harold McNeill
      November 4, 2013 at 10:48 am |

      Will do Audrey and we have a special treat as one of Santa’s helpers who drives a Harley Davidson Motorcycle will be arriving to help us celebrate. Love Grandpa

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Comments

  • Harold McNeill

    July 25, 2021 |

    Glad you enjoyed Craig. It was fun researching and writing that particular post. It seems I was in school many years before you, the 1950s to be more precise. Cheers, Harold

  • Craig Patterson

    July 18, 2021 |

    Thank you for sharing this. I grew up in Cold Lake (former town of Grand Centre) and we’d heard many stories over the years. Today I was talking to my Mom about the Kinosoo and I came to this article when I was searching images of the fish — I recall when I was in school in the 80s where was a photo supposedly taken (I think it’s the one of the ice fisherman above).

  • Harold McNeill

    January 15, 2021 |

    Wow, Graham, I was taken by surprise (but then again that’s not too hard). Having all you fine folks (my children by other fathers and mothers) would have been great. I’m hopeful that sometime in the not too distant future, we can reprise that trip. Perhaps we’ll just set aside a time for someone else’s landmark day, and we can surprise them. Love to you two. Harold

  • Graham and Nazanin

    January 15, 2021 |

    How could we miss this historic event my friend!!!
    Nazy and I were booked for that cruise Harold, we were looking so forward to it.
    We will be together soon! We both wish that continued unconditional love you receive from everyone to continue as you are that special someone that makes a difference in this world.
    Happy birthday sir, cheers!

  • Harold McNeill

    January 7, 2021 |

    Glad you found the site and that Dorthy enjoyed. I’ve added a lot of school photos in other locations linked to the High School Years stories. Cheers, Harold

  • Shelley Hamaliuk

    January 2, 2021 |

    Hi there, I am Dorothy Marshall’s (nee Hartman) daughter. Mom was quite excited when she discovered this site while surfing the net yesterday, so excited that she told me to have a look! She quite enjoyed taking a trip down memory and seeing old pictures of herself.Keep up the great work!

  • Harold McNeill

    April 14, 2020 |

    Hi Rick,
    Great to hear from you and trust all is going well. Our family members are all doing well but it must be pretty tough for a lot of people. I had once heard you were going to do some writing but never heard anything further. I would be most interested, but do you think the OB News have archives back to that time. Any link or information you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Did you keep copies? Regards, Harold

  • Rick Gonder

    April 14, 2020 |

    Hi Harold
    About 22 years ago I spent several weeks going through the OBPD archives. I wrote several stories that were published in the OB News. Feel free to use if they are of value to what you are doing.
    Keep this up, I’m enjoying it and it brings back memories.

  • Harold McNeill

    April 12, 2020 |

    Hi Susan,

    Glad you had a chance to read. I decided to update these stories by proofreading as there were several grammatical errors in many. Hopefully, many of those glaring errors have been removed.

    Many of the stories carry a considerable amount of social comment regarding the way the criminal justice system is selectively applied. Next up involves a young woman from near Cold Lake, Alberta, who was abducted by an older male from Edmonton. Her story is the story of hundreds of young men and woman who have found themselves alone and without help when being prayed upon unscrupulous predators.

    Cheers, Harold

  • Susan

    April 8, 2020 |

    Great read, Harold!…and really not surprising, sad as that may sound.
    Keep the stories coming, it is fascinating to hear them.
    Love from us out here in the “sticks”, and stay safe from this unknown predator called Covid.