A Genealogue Exclusive [What's That?]The annual Claus reunion was held Sunday in North Pole, Alaska, and yet again the most famous member of the family failed to appear.
Reunion organizer Lionel Claus of Duluth, Minnesota, says this is the tenth straight year his cousin Santa has missed the family get-together.
"He always RSVPs that he's coming, and then he doesn't show. My wife Polly makes his favorite casserole — something with tuna and potato-chip crumbs — but it always goes to waste."
The excuse is usually a heavy work schedule or a recurrent back problem. This year, Lionel received a last-minute email from the famous toymaker claiming that he had forgotten "a prior commitment in Sheboygan, Wisconsin."
"Sheboygan!" snorts Lionel. "He'd rather spend the afternoon at a parade than with his own family."
Not all of the Clauses were miffed by Santa's absence. Myrtle Claus, the family genealogist, gives him the benefit of the doubt, citing his contributions to her work.
"He's not much for giving sources," says Myrtle, "but I can always count on him when I need an accurate list of the children in a household. He won't hand it over until he's checked it twice."
Lionel Claus says Santa's snub will sting for a few days, but that he won't dwell on it.
"I won't let him ruin my Christmas."