It is a mystical place not listed on any map. Yet it exists just as surely as air, and land, and water.
In this magical place, there is a spirit which engulfs it so much, the magic lasts forever. It is one of the places Santa Claus hangs his red and white hat when he is not at his North Pole headquarters or flying through the skies all around the world, making stops to deliver presents for good little boys and girls.
It is Santa's home away from home and it is in northeast Ohio.
Around Santa's home, there is a village where Santa Claus can pick up the mail which can be delivered to him when he is not at the North Pole. There is a general store, and a tailor's shop, and several other buildings. When Santa is in this northeast Ohio home, so, too, are his helping elves who help maintain the shops in the village.
However, there are two people who are in Santa's home every day throughout the year. They are a caretaker couple. The husband and wife were selected by Santa Claus to oversee his Ohio property.
"Santa took me back to the North Pole and he showed me the village there and told me he wanted me to duplicate part of it here," said Mr. Caretaker, his arm sweeping wide at the village surrounding the home where Santa and Mrs. Claus spend their time resting after his long trip flying his reindeer throughout the world. Other times, Santa is in Ohio to meet with special children who are critically or terminally ill.
They are children who may not live to see another Christmas. "He realizes that these children in some degree don't have as much time," said Mr. Caretaker. "They can't do the things healthy kids can do like go the mall," he added. "They need more time to visit."
Santa's special place in Ohio is called Santa's Hideaway Hollow. So special does Santa Claus think of the children who are so sick, he and Mrs. Claus, with the help of the Caretaker couple, keep the village open year 'round. Sick children can see Santa throughout the year.
Mrs. Claus said she stays busy working in the home or the village. She said when Santa and Mrs. Claus come to their home away from the North Pole, she readies everything for their arrival. But daily, there are chores for the Caretaker couple. "From doing Santa's laundry when he is here and helping with the mending of his suits," said Mrs. Caretaker. She noted for big repair jobs on clothing, Santa will use the tailor shop in the village where the elves actually work making his famous red and white suits.
Children's parents make arrangements to visit Hideaway Hollow through any hospital's Child Life Department or through hospices for the children. There is no charge for the children to visit Santa, go through the village, receive gifts, and see Santa's Ohio reindeer. The reindeer serve as back-up deer in case Rudolph, Dunder, Blitzen, or any other of Santa's reindeer get sick and cannot fly. The Ohio reindeer are ready to fly to wherever Santa needs them.
Mr. Caretaker said by closely watching Santa through the years, he has learned much from the man who represents so much that is good. "Every day can be our last so never take anything for granted," said Mr. Caretaker. "Go home and hug your kids and realize that every child is a gift from God," he said.
Santa's Hideaway Hollow is in the Ohio community of Middlefield in Geauga County.
There is more information on Santa's Hideaway Hollow website, www.santashideawayhollow.com.
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