Dateline: the middle of June in Houston.
Those of my readers who are reside in other more northern states or overseas might not fully appreciate this, but that means it’s summer in Texas. Which means bone-melting temperatures and soul-crushing humidity. I honestly can’t fathom how the West was won in the old days before the invention of air conditioning. If it had been me being directed to blaze that new frontier, all you would have seen of me was the cloud of dust my horse kicked up as we sped away to gentler climes in, say, Canada.
As such, Christmas tends to be the last things on our minds in the Lone Star State in the summertime. However, if you’re planning on playing Santa or Mrs. Claus this year, believe it or not, NOW is the time to get your orders in for your costumes.
Even as a little girl, I could tell my true Santas apart from the wannabes every time I hit the malls. Fake beards aside, the sight of boot-tops camouflaging dress shoes or ill-fitting worn-thin polyester pants and jackets made my heart sink. Those were the times my parents would have to cover for the ersatz Santa with mumbled words about a too-busy Santa and his army of ‘helpers.’
On the other hand, nothing – and I mean NOTHING – put me in the Christmas spirit more than seeing a fully costumed and committed Kris Kringle, resplendent in beautiful costume from head to toe. It’s something that I’ve carried into my adulthood, and even was a driving force in deciding to specialize in custom Kringle costumes as a career.
Now, at the risk of gender generalization, I can’t think of a bride on the planet in her right mind who would first contact me or another dressmaker about designing and creating her wedding gown a month out from the ceremony. But men are masters of procrastination. It’s incredibly ingrained in their DNA to wait until the last minute. Don’t believe me? Next Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, check out how many guys are at the temporary florist tent set up in the nearest Kroger parking lot.
I feel like a true Grinch when November rolls around and I have to turn down job offers from well-meaning men wanting to spread a little personalized Christmas cheer. Not only are they too late, they are WAY THE HECK too late. Unless you want to grab a cheapo getup from the local costume store, you’re going to need to leave months for a professional job to be done on your own outfit.
Like any self-respecting seamstress – singing or otherwise – I take pride in my work. From my days of working as a costumer in community theatre, there was a recurring joke/not joke when it came to providing custom clothing for the actors: Good, Fast, or Cheap. Pick any one. Crafting a worthy costume takes time; fittings take time, confirming the client’s vision and desires takes time, meticulously planning and creating with the proper materials takes time.
In short, gents, if you’re wanting to look like a worthy Santa this festive season, NOW is the time to get in touch with me, because I can guarantee you it will take the summer and autumn to provide you with a costume that you and I could both be proud of.
However, I can promise you; it’s worth the wait.
Until next time!
P.S. SPEAKING OF TEXAS…
I simply HAD to include this little story. There is an amazing Fort Worth, Texas artist named Jack Sorenson. Check out his website and be sure to ‘like’ his Facebook page! His paintings of Texas life – past and present – enthrall many an art lover, including Houston-area seasonal Santa David Applegate.
David contacted both me and Jack to see if we could craft a costume based on the above painting. If you know me, you know I never shirk from a challenge (in fact, have you ever encountered ANYONE who admits they DO shirt challenges? But I digress.) and once I was given the green light I was proud to use the paining as a template and provide David a real-life version of it, just like this:
If YOU have any special design needs, or even a vision of a special-made-to-order Santa costume, drop me a line! Just be sure to do it soon… and beat the holiday rush.