My Father Was Santa

My father was a real life Santa Claus, and this is his workshop:

Before I was born, he nearly lost his life on a motorcycle. 

It was given back through his unique faith and indomitable spirit. 


Though he lived and eventually recovered,  his ability to speak was essentially destroyed by the accident. 

Woodworking was his love language – he made gifts of wood and shared the with everyone he came in contact with, all around the world, in every walk of life –  but especially children.  My Dad found a particular joy in making toys for kids. He has made and given untold thousands of wooden toys to children all around the world over the course of his life. 

This Christmas, I’ve been spending some time working in my Dad’s wood shop. 

Since he’s been gone, a few things have remained untouched – some tools, some of his unfinished projects.  I wonder about the last time he turned off the lights and called it a night – did he have any idea that it would be the last time?

You never know when it’s going to be your last time doing anything. 

Do everything as if this may be the last time you’ll ever do it. 

Savor it. 

Observe it. 

Be fully present to it. 

Drink deeply. 

At some point, and not of your choosing, the final times just… happen.  

Give your gifts fully to your loved ones, your community, and the world. 

Memento Mori –  in all things, remember death, and in doing so, you will find life. 

Much love and Happy Holidays – 

Paul Duane



We miss you, Dad.

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