Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

We need to know: Where are you, Creepy Santa?

  • Print

I was standing in line at a local bookstore, minding my own business, staring down at my feet and patiently waiting to pay for a cheesy paperback murder mystery when it happened.

The lovely woman standing in front of me turned around suddenly, affected a look of shocked surprise, batted her eyelashes, then pinned me with an intensely inquisitive stare.

"So," she cooed, in a voice as smooth as the syrup you would pour on your morning pancakes if you were the sort of person who lives in cheesy detective novels, "where do you think HE is?"

The question confused me, but, as persons of my gender generally do in emotionally charged situations like this, I attempted to adopt a manly air of casual indifference.

"Where do I think WHO is?" I replied in what I hoped would pass for a seductive whisper.

The mystery woman frowned ever so slightly and rolled her eyes. "Creepy Santa, of course!" she snickered. "Have you been able to track down the kidnappers?"

"No," I grunted, bravely heaving a sigh, "we don't have a clue."

And that's the truth. If that conversation is something of a mystery to you, let me bring you up to date.

In January, I wrote a heartbreaking column in which I revealed "Creepy Santa," a three-foot-tall stuffed Santa doll bequeathed to me by my parents, had been kidnapped from our front porch. For the record, he was nicknamed Creepy Santa by my daughter because he has a creepy, open-mouthed glare that makes him look like one of those icky inflatable dolls you find on the Internet.

I personally think he looks more like Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich or Prime Minister Stephen Harper, only with a more natural hairstyle and better people skills.

During the holidays, my family, by which I mean my wife and kids, bring joy to one another by hiding this scowling plush gnome in random locations, then waiting for their victim to stumble on him and shriek in holiday horror.

But this year, shortly after Christmas, Creepy Santa, who had been parked on the porch to scare away neighbourhood children, vanished into thin air. Days later, a mysterious brown envelope arrived and inside was a photo of the creepy little guy wearing a tiny Jets T-shirt. There was also a slip of paper on which had been printed the following grisly message: "GO JETS GO!"

My initial reaction to the kidnapping was something along the lines of "Ha ha ha!" But then it dawned on me something horrible could happen, namely the kidnappers might decide to give him back.

For the last month-and-a-half, these evil-doers have been taunting us. Shortly after I wrote about the kidnapping, another mystery envelope arrived. Inside was a photo showing Creepy Santa buried to his neck in snow and sporting a headband, a multicoloured scarf and a pair of red mittens.

On the note accompanying the photo was this message: "#@*! it's cold! I think I froze off my 'jingle' bells. By the way, nice article! I thought we had such good times together and now I know how you really feel. Maybe we'd all be better off if I never came back!"

So we still don't have a clue who took him or why, but my wife is determined to find out. She is accusing everyone we know, then monitoring their facial expressions for signs of guilt. "How can I scare the kids next Christmas if we don't get him back?" is how she justifies this witch hunt.

About two weeks ago, a third mystery envelope was dropped in our mailbox. It contained a four-by-six photo of a forlorn Creepy Santa standing alone in a corner wearing a necktie festooned with tiny hearts for Valentine's Day.

But, as long as the photos and plaintive notes keep coming, we can take comfort knowing Creepy Santa is alive, or as alive as a three-foot plush doll ripped from the bosom of his loving family can be.

Who knows, maybe the creepy little guy will find some way to escape on his own. I mean, he may have a creepy plastic face and be stuffed with fluff, but he's no dummy.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 29, 2012 A2

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Total Body Tune-Up: Farmer's Carry

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Geese take cover in long grass in the Tuxedo Business Park near Route 90 Wednesday- Day 28– June 27, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Gardening Column- Assiniboine Park English Garden. July 19, 2002.

View More Gallery Photos


Are you concerned about the number of homicides so far this year?

View Results

Ads by Google