Santa Makes Special Visit to Local Grandmother And Family

Santa and Mrs. Claus (Photo by Stephanie Faughnan)

  WARETOWN – A local grandmother recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer received some early Christmas joy when Santa stopped by to pay her family a special visit.

  Roxanne and Ed Lynn moved to Waretown in 1999 with their three daughters. Roxanne, 59, works for the Township of Ocean School District in their preschool program. When the district resumed in-person classes, the longtime paraprofessional masked up and was glad to return to her students and finish out the 2020-2021 school year.

  “We remember waiting for last year to end,” stated Roxanne. “Who knew this year would be even worse.”

  The Lynn family suffered their initial heartbreak in March of this year when Roxanne’s sister-in-law and next-door neighbor died. Ed lost his mom in September and Roxanne’s stepdad for most of her life passed away recently. None of the deaths were attributed to COVID-related illnesses.

  Roxanne began experiencing stomach issues at the beginning of this school year. The slender youthful grandmother received the shock of a lifetime when doctors diagnosed her with early-stage pancreatic cancer.

  Everyone knows that Santa’s always watching and sees when someone is in need of some holiday spirit. When he and Mrs. Claus arrived at the Lynn family home, they came armed with a satchel of goodies for Roxanne and Ed’s three granddaughters.

Santa (Photo by Stephanie Faughnan)

  Eliza Kertis, 6, Penny Hooper, 4, and newborn Daisy Hooper, appeared awestruck as they met the big guy. For Roxanne, there’s no doubt the jolly couple’s presence stood out as the greatest gift of all.

  “I am absolutely a believer (in Santa),” Roxanne shared. “I can’t tell you how excited and grateful I am for this visit.”

  News that Santa planned to make the special in-person call came as part of a most-coveted interview with the illustrious couple. Mrs. Claus handles Santa’s calendar, as well as setting up his Christmas route. Santa sees his wife as the “unsung hero” when it comes to spreading holiday cheer and keeping him in good shape.

  Santa validated rumors that he has a summer house in the historic section of downtown Barnegat. The Claus home is a favorite stop for trick or treaters at Halloween time. Santa only dons the red suit when he’s doing official work. When he’s in civilian clothes, Santa distributes his calling card to confirm his identity.

  Santa started off this year’s season in Barnegat Light and arrived for the borough’s tree lighting via a Coast Guard boat. The rotund, red-suited fellow made the same entrance in prior years, albeit with some difficulties.

  “On our first ride on the Coast Guard boat, I was probably forty pounds heavier,” said Santa. “I distinctly remember this young Coast Guard guy having problems snapping the buttons on the Coast Guard approved life vest.”

  According to Santa, his work gets done with the collaborative efforts of many helpers. They interact together and take on various jobs. Some can pass as body doubles, while Santa’s elves and reindeer prepare for the big day.

  His voice choked up a bit as Santa shared what he personally likes best about his work. After all, Santa’s notoriety gives him the opportunity to become a part of many experiences.

  “I enjoy working with special needs children,” Santa shared. “When I say children, I mean children of all ages. That’s what it’s all about to me.”

  When kids hop on Santa’s lap and request gifts, he never promises them anything. Santa also reminds children that the elves are toymakers and are not skilled in putting together electronic devices like I-pads or PlayStation.

  “We always tell the children that they never know what’s going to be there on Christmas morning,” Santa explained. “The surprise is what makes things so special.”

Santa visits with Roxanne Lynn and her three grandchildren, pictured left to right – Eliza, Daisy and Penny (on mom and dad’s laps) (Photo by Stephanie Faughnan)

  Santa’s most unique gift request came from the son of a chiropractor who asked Santa for a new porch. The little boy told Santa he needed to be careful because the family dog pooped right near the existing porch.

  “The father was breaking down at this point in the background,” laughed Santa. “He told the child to ask for a new Porsche and the boy interpreted it as a porch.”

  Part of the magic of Christmas includes ensuring that Santa reaches every household by Christmas morning. How does it all happen?

  “It has everything to do with the Quantum Leap theory and time travel, “Santa shared. “I just saw an article yesterday about the future of travel. People will be able to travel from New York City to California in one second. It seems they’re taking some of Santa’s secrets.”

  Santa credited his reindeer for their tireless work throughout the night. And, although he loves all of the reindeer crew, Santa admitted Rudolph stole Santa’s heart on a particular foggy night.

  So, what about that infamous naughty list? Just how big is it? And does Santa ever really leave coal behind for bad boys and girls?

  “Once when I was very young, I got coal for Christmas myself,” admitted Santa. “I was devastated, and I will never, ever, ever give coal to any child…no matter how naughty they may be.”

Santa at the Live Nativity at United Methodist Church of Waretown. (Photo provided courtesy Santa)

  Mrs. Claus shared her thoughts on the concept of the naughty list. After all, she reviews everything as part of the team approach to delivering Christmas cheer.

  “Even children who are a little bit naughty, still have good in them,” Mrs. Claus asserted. “That is what really matters.”

  Santa is the first to admit that the miracle of Christmas starts with the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Mr. and Mrs. Claus make a visit to the Live Nativity at the United Methodist Church of Waretown every year. Santa believes that Christmas also includes the bonds people share at this time of year.

  While Santa makes his rounds with his wife this season, the lovely couple hope to spread most of their holiday cheer outdoors. The elves crafted them special masks for indoor visits, which they’ll wear for close encounters.

  As the season is in full swing, Santa hopes to promote more kindness, goodness and generosity to children of all ages. Those with special needs for holiday well wishes can contact Mrs. Claus through their summer address on the Barnegat Santa Facebook page.