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December 2010 Archives

December 16, 2010

Disney's Hollywood Studios - All Ears Meet and Greet - December 4, 2010

The first official AllEars Holiday meet took place on December 4th at Rosie's All American Cafe on Sunset Blvd in Disney's Hollywood Studios.

 Rosie's All American Cafe

Thanks to the over 60 of you who took time out of your vacations to spend some time with the AllEars Team.

Deb Wills, Steve Barrett, Jack Spence, Mike Scopa, Erin Blackwell, Glo from PA, Michelle Scribner-MacLean, and Mike Bachand from the AllEars team were on hand to meet everyone, hand out new AllEars 15th Anniversary Lanyards and Buttons.

There were even a few drawings including one for 2 tickets to the special AllEars VIP IllumiNations Party on December 5th.

We also released 2 brand new trading cards at the meet celebrating the Holidays!

Card #16 is the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights.

Card #17 is the Gingerbread Castle at the Grand Floridian Hotel.

Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights Gingerbread Castle at the Grand Floridian Hotel

Trading Cards were the hot commodities and everyone wanted to get some. Pictured: Cathy, Jack and Erik

All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

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We also debuted our new Team AllEars Trading Cards. Here Erin is passing her card out.

All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Erin Blackwell's Card:

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Michelle Scribner MacLean's card:

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Gloria Konsler's card:

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Mike Scopa with fellow Disney fans

All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

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Gary and Cathy Mullen from PA.

All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

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All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

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Jack and Christy

All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

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Michelle Scribner-MacLean

All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios


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Johnny Black

All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

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Deb and Happy Birthday Renee!

All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

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Ray Sharpton

All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

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Cindy Petzoldt

All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

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Marc and Dennis

All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

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Vickie Barrett and Matt Hochberg

All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

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Mike Bachand and Erin Blackwell

All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

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All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios


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Mike Scopa and Lara Thompson

All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

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Alison and Erik

All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

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All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

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Kris and Shallon

All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios'

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All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

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Jack Spence and Bea

All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

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Time for some prizes -- All Ears Swag of course.

All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

And the Grand Prize, 2 tickets to the AllEars VIP Illuminations event on Sunday night!

Congrats Debbie from Colorado!

All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

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AllEars Team Members

All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

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Meet Attendees! Thank you one and all!

All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

All Ears Meet and Greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios

December 18, 2010

Discovery Island Trails AllEars Meet Animal Kingdom December 6, 2010

On a very VERY chilly morning, a group of dedicated AllEars Animal Kingdom fans meet at Pizzafari for a walk along the Discovery Island Trails.

Today we released AllEars Trading Card #20, celebrating the Holidays at Animal Kingdom:

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We kept warm inside Pizzafari until it was time to venture out.

Pictured: Cindy Kay Rhye and Renee Miller

All Ears Meet and Greet at Animal Kingdom


Steve Barrett and Deb Wills
All Ears Meet and Greet at Animal Kingdom


Scott shows Steve and Mike Bachand some Hidden Mickeys he found in a cookie box!
All Ears Meet and Greet at Animal Kingdom


Deb shared with the group her first visit to Animal Kingdom during the Cast Member Previews in March 2008.

All Ears Meet and Greet at Animal Kingdom

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Time to head out to one of Deb's favorite Discovery Island Trails. When the park opened these were called the Tree of Life Gardens.

Along the trail.......

Saddle Billed Stork

All Ears Meet and Greet at Animal Kingdom

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Deb was really hoping to see the Giant Galapagos Tortoise but no such luck.

All Ears Meet and Greet at Animal Kingdom

However, she started jumping up and down so excited that the Porcupines were out and about! First time Deb had seen them do anything other than sleep in the back of the shelter!


All Ears Meet and Greet at Animal Kingdom

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The Painted Stork

All Ears Meet and Greet at Animal Kingdom

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Soon everyone found themselves with a different view of the Tree of Life.

All Ears Meet and Greet at Animal Kingdom

All Ears Meet and Greet at Animal Kingdom

Erin decided on an up close and personal view of the Tree. Check out her cool jacket!

All Ears Meet and Greet at Animal Kingdom

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All too quickly it was time to say farewell... until next time!

All Ears Meet and Greet at Animal Kingdom

Gloria and Mike Bachand
All Ears Meet and Greet at Animal Kingdom

Steve and Deb
All Ears Meet and Greet at Animal Kingdom

All Ears Meet and Greet at Animal Kingdom

Sara and Doug

All Ears Meet and Greet at Animal Kingdom

Thanks everyone for coming out on such a freezing cold morning!!! Please post a comment and identify yourself in the photos!

December 21, 2010

Electric Umbrella AllEars Meet in Epcot December 9, 2010

On December 9th, we gathered at 9am at the Electric Umbrella for our final AllEars meet of 2010.

Another cold morning greeted us, but did not keep AllEars fans away. We had a great time trading cards and giving away some AllEars merchandise.

Here are the 2 AllEars Trading Cards released that morning.

Card #19 Celebrating the Holidays in Epcot

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Card #23, part of our Transportation Series - the Tronorail!

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Pictured below: Deb Koma, Mike Bachand, Kimberly and Bill Shultz

All Ears Epcot Meet and Greet

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Pictured Below: Ray Sharpton, Steve Barrett, Deb, Mike Bachand, Margaret Kroll


All Ears Epcot Meet and Greet

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Pictured Below: Kimberly Shultz and Karen Baily


All Ears Epcot Meet and Greet

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All Ears Epcot Meet and Greet

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Jerry and Aurora Watson

All Ears Epcot Meet and Greet

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Pictured Below: David Mullett and Masayo

All Ears Epcot Meet and Greet

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Pictured below: Tom Mangano, Mike Bachand, Deb Koma, Steve, Julie Bachand

All Ears Epcot Meet and Greet

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Pictured Below: Kerry Wilson and Jack Marshall

All Ears Epcot Meet and Greet

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Pictured Below: Steve Barrett


All Ears Epcot Meet and Greet

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All Ears Epcot Meet and Greet

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Pictured Below: Karen Baily, Andrew, Kimberly and Bill Shultz, Mike Bachand

All Ears Epcot Meet and Greet


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Deb and Longtime Fan Mike Rudge. Mike even wore his 10 Year AllEars Shirt from 2006!

All Ears Epcot Meet and Greet

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Pictured Below: Aaron DelPrince and Mark Rhodes

All Ears Epcot Meet and Greet

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All Ears Epcot Meet and Greet

Following the meet and greet many folks continued on to watch Captain EO.


All Ears Epcot Meet and Greet

Thanks everyone for coming out. Please let us know by leaving a comment what photos are you in and your name!

December 23, 2010

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party - December 5, 2010

On December 5th, Walt's birthday, the 5th annual AllEars® VIP Illuminations party was held. As has become our tradition, we watched Illuminations with the holiday tag in a private viewing area and then hung around for a little extra magic!

While the weather held off in terms of rain, it didn't let up in regards to the temperatures. This was one of the coldest nights I remember spending in central Florida...perhaps it dipped in the low 30s?

No matter, over 100 folks came out to celebrate with AllEars and enjoy the magic that is Disney at the Holidays!

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party


All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party


All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

This time, instead of the full sugar fix that is part of the regular Illuminations Dessert buffet, AllEars ordered something a little extra special; gourmet cheeses, berries, chocolate ganache, and mini dessert pastries including eclairs, baklava and fruit bars.


All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party


All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party


All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

Tables were set up for everyone who wanted a seat to watch the show.

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

Special "Mickey" viewing glasses were passed out for everyone! At first folks thought it was hokey, but once the fireworks began the laughter filled the air.

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

Once the park cleared we were escorted into Future World for a surprise ride on Spaceship Earth!

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

Afterward, folks gathered in the post show area for a group photo! Deb said a few words and all of a sudden Spaceman Mickey appeared !!!!!

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

He joined the group for a photo and then took turns with everyone to get that special photograph!

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

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All Ears Team Members in attendance, from left to right:
Michelle Scribner-MacLean, Barrie Brewer, Deb, Mike Bachand, Erin Blackwell, Mickey, Jack Spence, Steve Barrett, Glo Konsler, and Mike Scopa.

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

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The AllEars Team with many of our Guest Bloggers.
From Left to Right Standing: Kitty Smith, Michelle, Jeanine, Barrie, Mike, Jeff Onorato, Erin, Deb, Mickey, Jack, Steve, Glo and Mike Scopa. Kneeling: Ashley Livingston, John Kurowski, and Cedric Ching.


All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

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My unofficial award for creative photo of the night!

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

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Each attendee was also given a gift bag with new 15th Anniversary AllEars merchandise, plus AllEars Trading Cards. We also introduced a special card released that evening, which commemorated Walt's birthday!

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For our last bit of magic for this special night, Mike Newell of MouseWorldRadio recorded this video highlighting our evening. Be sure to scroll down after you watch the video for lots of photos from the event. Please let me know which photo you are in and I can email you a larger size as a keepsake.


Thank you Spaceman Mickey, Disney World Special Events, the many Cast Members, MEI and MouseFanTravel, Barrie Brewer Photography, Mike Newell on video and those who made donations to my Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and every single person who attended! Your laughter and smiles warmed my heart and you made this a very special evening!

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All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party


All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party


All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party


All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party


All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party


All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations PartyAll Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party


All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations PartyAll Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party


All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party Michele Morabito

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party All Ears Annual VIP Illuminations Party

December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays From Everyone at AllEars.net

 

BELIEVE!
by Mike Scopa
AllEars® Feature Writer

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The polls have recently closed, the counting of the ballots has begun and AllEars® is projecting that the year 2010 will go down as the fastest year in history... by a landslide.

Where did the time go? Seconds turned into minutes, which turned into hours. Days quickly turned to weeks and weeks to months, and here we are again, looking down the throat of another holiday season.

As with all holiday seasons it gives us time to reflect on not just this past year but also all the years of our lives. These years serve as chapters in our lives. Chapters that when strung together make for a book... a book about us.

When I think about Christmas I think about some memorable things I'd like to share with you. It all starts with coming clean with my children, who after some 30 years will finally hear something from me that I thought I would never reveal.

I was Santa Claus. Yes, I was.

A long time ago I purchased a Santa Claus suit, one of the best you could buy. Very detailed, crushed velvet. And I bought a Santa Claus beard, wig, and pair of spectacles from the Boston Theatrical Company. I wanted to play Santa Claus for the 35 houses in our neighborhood and for my children.

I was the chairperson for the Employee Activities Committee for the company I worked for at that time. We came up with some ideas to add value not only to the employees' holiday season, but also to our families' and to those less fortunate than us. One year we decided to do something special, so we contacted a local orphanage and arranged to have the children brought to our building to enjoy a Christmas party. Though we arranged this Christmas party for many years, it is this first year we did it that will always have a special place in my heart.

A few weeks before this party we put up a few Christmas trees in the cafeteria, and on these trees were special cards. Written on each card was the name of a child from the orphanage and a Christmas wish -- that is, what the child was asking Santa to bring for Christmas. The cards went fast. My co-workers were always generous and their generosity and spirit of giving was never higher than during the holiday season.

On that special Friday evening in December the children were bused to our company and we brought them into our festive cafeteria. The memory that I hold very dear happened that night. It was all about believing in Santa Claus.

Of course, I was Santa that evening and Santa and his elves had cake and ice cream and all kinds of treats for the children, but before they enjoyed those goodies the children had to first visit Santa and tell him what they wanted for Christmas. As each child came up to me and told me their wish, I handed them a candy cane and then one of my elves would give them a present. All the children were very excited to come to this party. Well, almost all the children were.

On this particular evening there was one 14-year-old boy who just didn't want to be there. His name was Jeff. It is hard to imagine how anyone could abandon a child, but it is not hard to imagine that the child would grow up wondering why life had dealt him such a hand. Jeff was the oldest boy at the orphanage, and had dealt with his hand for a long time. It was obvious he did not want to be at this party. Santa was a long-lost memory for Jeff.

I knew what Jeff wanted for Christmas -- a bike. Even though Jeff had not filled out a card for our tree, one of the caretakers at the orphanage with whom Jeff had gotten close knew what the teen wanted. He or she had filled out the card and had written "bike" on it.
As the children made their way to me I could see Jeff in line, looking like he was on his way to a root canal. When he finally got to the front of the line, he was a trooper. He knew that the younger children were excited so he played along, but it was clear his heart wasn't in it.

When he came up to me, I called him by name and one of his eyebrows reached for the ceiling. He tilted his head and gave me a puzzled look. I asked him how everything was going and he slowly said, "OK." He wanted to get out of there as soon as possible.
As I was talking to Jeff he did not notice there was a wall of my fellow employees forming behind him. Are you catching on?

"So Jeffrey!" I said, "I try real hard to make everyone's Christmas wish come true, and it takes a lot of work. Sometimes I try so hard my head hurts, and I sometimes forget what's on my list. What was at the top of your Christmas list this year?"

Jeffrey was in agony, but he took a deep breath, thought about the cake and ice cream awaiting him and said in a low tone, "Nothing really."

I began to feel for this boy so much that I went into action real fast.

"Wait Jeffrey, I do remember! I remember what you wanted."

Jeffrey lifted his head, tilted it to one side and again looked at me as if I had reindeer antlers growing out of my Santa hat. I had his attention.

"And I think... I think... HO HO HO! I think there is a surprise for you if you would just turn around."

Jeffrey spun around and saw the bike. The employees had slipped it behind him while I was talking with him. Did I forget to mention to you that we had gotten this teen his Christmas wish?

Jeffrey ran to the bike and just before he got to it he spun back around and raced towards me, sporting a big smile, gave me a hug and said, "Thank you, Santa!" He then ran back to the bike.

As Santa I had to maintain my composure. But Mrs. Santa to my right, my elves, and all the employees were fumbling for tissues, as I am right now, recalling that night. It was a moment that none of us would ever forget, especially Jeff. I just know that somewhere he is enjoying this Christmas season and doing whatever he can to nurture his children's belief in Santa Claus.

So this is what this AllEars® holiday newsletter is all about. Belief. We all need to believe in something, to get us through the day... to get us through life.

That same year I made a number of house calls as Santa. When I made these house calls and had several children with whom to visit, I brought candy canes, jingle bells, and "The Polar Express," a wonderful book that I loved to read to the children. After reading the book I would ask the children to give me their Christmas wishes and ask them if I could give them mine. This was always met with smiles and sometimes excitement. Wow, Santa wants to tell me HIS Christmas Wish?

So I would tell the children that lately I'd been having difficulty making my one-night trip around the world and delivering gifts to everyone.

"Why Santa?" I was asked.

I would tell them that lately people had not been nice to each other and that affected my power. I also told them that what most children don't know is that when they believe in me, I receive energy from them and this energy gives me power to do my job. However, when someone stops believing in me, that's when I feel a little weak and find it hard to do my job. So I asked them if they could help me. Of course by now they were on the edge of their seats, because they had an opportunity to help Santa.

"Yes, Santa!" was the unanimous cry.

I smiled and reached for my sack. I pulled out a jingle bell about the size of a golf ball with a red ribbon on it.

"I had the elves make these bells from the runners from my old sleighs. There seems to be magic in them. I have one for each of you. Before you go to sleep on Christmas Eve I would like you to shake your bell three times and say, 'I believe in you Santa!' If you will do that for me, I will be able to deliver all the presents on Christmas Eve. I need your help!"

Every time -- every single time I did that when visiting a house -- the children would jump to their feet and shake their heads and hold out their hands for the bells. I placed a bell in each child's hand and thanked them individually, making sure I used their names and looked deeply into their eyes. Of course the parents ate this up and even today when I run across these parents they will stop and say, "My children may have grown up, but they continue to believe in the magic of Santa Claus."

It's all about believing.

All of us here at AllEars® enjoy what we do. It's a labor of love. Make no mistake about it -- it IS work, but we enjoy it. We enjoy bringing to you as much information as we can and in the best manner possible. We believe in our brand and follow the lead of a very special lady, Deb Wills, who challenges us to incorporate integrity and quality into everything we do.
Along the line as we do reviews, blogs, photo reports, and lately a live call-in show, we find we get our energy from you... just as Santa gets his energy from the children around the world who believe in him. That's what keeps him going. Your belief in AllEars® and what that brand stands for is what motivates all of us at AllEars®.

You are the power source that helps us find the energy to collect those details about an upcoming event, to do reviews on new restaurants as soon as they open up, to write blogs that help you find Hidden Mickeys, to show you how to take great photos, or perhaps even how to go about training to run a half or full marathon. Your visits to AllEars®, your emails to us, your subscriptions to the newsletter, are very much giving us the same thing as what I asked those children to do for Santa and what I hope I instilled in Jeffrey with that bicycle.

Belief.

So in this holiday season all of us here are AllEars® want to express our sincere thanks to you for believing in us for 15 years. We hope that you continue to believe in us for years to come as we try to serve you and the Disney internet community as best we can. We wish you the warmest, safest, most joyous holiday season and hope that the New Year brings with it health and prosperity to you and your family.

Oh, and before I forget -- to my daughter Holly, and son Mike, Jr. -- if you two did not catch the confession early on, yes, that was me in the Santa suit all those years.
Happy Holidays!


A reprise of our 2009 Holiday Greeting!


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About December 2010

This page contains all entries posted to Deb's Digest in December 2010. They are listed from oldest to newest.

November 2010 is the previous archive.

January 2011 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.