December 24, 2013 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Joyce’s special guest was Santa Claus, whom Joyce interviewed about his preparations for this special holiday.  During the hour, Joyce will share Santa’s perspective on the importance for all of us to share our time and resources with everyone in need, not only during the holidays, but year-round, and discuss how important it is for us to love one other and work together for the common good.

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Transcript

            DISABILITY MATTERS WITH JOYCE BENDER

            DECEMBER 24, 2013

            1:00 P.M. CST

                 

            This text is being provided in a rough draft format.  Communication access realtime translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.

                           >> Welcome to "Disability Matters" with your host, Joyce Bender.  All comments, views and opinions expressed on this show are solely those of the host, guests and callers.  Now the host of "Disability Matters," here's Joyce Bender.

   >>JOYCE BENDER:  And Merry Christmas, boys and girls.  I know you're all ready.  It's Christmas Eve, and I know how excited I was, and still am, about Christmas Eve.  I'll bet you're all waiting.  You're waiting for someone that I have a direct line to today.  So I hope you're listening to this either now or maybe your mom and dad playing it for you later in the evening. 

   But right now I am on-line with, guess who?  Santa.  I love Santa.  I'll bet you love Santa.  Well, guess what?  I have a special surprise for you.  Not only is he on-line.  He's giving an update as to where he is, and right now he's getting really close.  He and his reindeers are getting really close because as you know, pretty soon, at midnight, he's going to be coming to your house.  So I hope all of you were really good little boys and girls this year, and I'll bet you were. 

   I want to remind you of something that Santa asked me to tell you.  He's so proud of all of you children who are not bullying other children.  You know, that is not on the nice list.  That's not on the naughty, that's on the really bad list.  Do you know what I mean?  I mean when you're in school you are going to meet kids different than you.  Like me, some of them have disabilities.  They may be blind.  They may be deaf.  They may be in a wheelchair.  They may have autism.  They may have some type of intellectual disability, or, like me, they may have epilepsy or they may use a wheelchair.  Whatever that is, you know what?  Santa is so proud of you boys and girls who have taken a stand to help them.  They wanted me to make sure I told you that because he knows how terrible it is to be bullied.  He knows how terrible to have other kids make fun of you. 

   And you know what?  You're the heroes.  Those of you that stood up and helped other kids, you should never make fun of anyone.  Santa does not like that.  I'm meaning the persons of different color or if they are a person with a disability or if they have some different ethnic background or belief, you should never make fun of them, because after all, Santa knows what Christmas is, and Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus, and that means we all need to remember that we have to love everyone.  And that also includes, by the way, while I'm on this subject -- hold on a minute.  Hold on.  Now I'm getting -- I'm getting a message here.  Hold on, I'm getting a message from Santa.

   Okay, what I'm supposed to tell you is if you have been doing that, bullying, you can change that for next year, and if you tell him and make that promise -- for example, when you say your prayer tonight, Santa knows God hears you.  And if you make that change that you're not going to bully anyone next year, hey, you're back on that nice list.  You're on the good list.  You're on that good list right away.

   You know, I am like one of those little children you maybe would make fun of because you know I have epilepsy, but I don't care.  I'm still like all of you, and, you know, you may have other little friends and they have epilepsy.  But let me tell you what.  You have to treat them the same as you.  You have to love them.  You can't treat them differently because did you know it really makes you sad.

   So I'm telling you you all are going to be Santa's little helpers and you're going to do the right thing and you're going to be nice to everyone.  Wait, wait, wait!  Hold it.  What?  Oh, Santa is sending me another message.  Could you hold on one minute?

   Oh, I'm supposed to tell you about your family.  Santa says you're also supposed to be nice to mommy, daddy, sisters, brothers.  You know -- did you know Santa sees you all year?  And he wants you to be kind.  He wants you to be nice to your mommy and your daddy and let them know you love them.  I have some special little -- special little people that listen to my show.  One is my little nephew Joey.  He is so good.  I'm his aunt Joyce, and he is so good.  He loves his mom and dad, and you know what?  I also have a couple other little nephews and nieces.  I have Maeve and I have Ann, and you know what?  They're so nice to their mom and dad, and so is Max and Lucas.  Wow, I have so many nephews across the country everywhere, and you know what?  They always try to be their best with their mom and dad.  You know you hurt your mommy's feelings and your dad when you aren't nice to them.

   So while we are talking and getting these messages from Santa, hold on a minute, I have some questions that different boys and girls sent to me, and they wanted me to ask Santa.  So here we go.

   Santa -- now, I have Santa on-line here so listen.  He's getting ready, but he doesn't have a lot of time, but he's going to try.  If he can't get me the answer, he said he'll tell Mrs. Santa Claus to get me the answer, Mrs. Claus.  Okay.  Santa, what if there is no chimney?  Okay.  Yep.  Okay.  If a house does not have a chimney, then Santa uses some of his magic dust to make a chimney appear.  Then the chimney disappears as soon as Santa leaves.  How about that?  You know, I knew that, but I'll bet a lot of you didn't know that, that when Santa goes -- if there is no chimney, he uses that magic dust and all of a sudden, look out, there is a chimney.

   You know, do you listen -- by the way, at night on Christmas Eve, do you listen for the reindeer?  I always did.  So when you're in bed tonight just close your eyes and listen.  You may hear his little hoof marks, their feet, their paws.  They have a hoof on the roof.  You may hear it, or you may hear the sled -- the sleigh.  You may hear the sleigh.  So you just listen tonight.  You pay attention.

   Okay.  Another little boy, what does he want to know?  Santa, what if we move?  I'm waiting for Santa.  Oh, here we go.  Santa knows how to find all children on Christmas Eve, all children.  See, remember, Santa is magic.  He can find you.  It doesn't matter where you are.  Santa can find you.  Santa found me and I lived out -- whoa, out in a rural area, and Santa always found me.  I told you, I'd hear the reindeer up on the rooftop.  I always heard them late at night, but I was afraid to even get out of the bed because I didn't want to scare Rudolph or Dasher or Dancer and then take off.  So I always tried to be very quiet.  But he always found me.  Santa always found me.

   He used to come to my house -- I was one of the last houses, do you know that?  Because I would hear him when he took off, and he would be letting me know he was done.  That was it.

   Okay.  Let's see here.  All right.  Here's another question.  What if there is no snow?  Okay.  All right.  Actually, this one answer is coming from Dasher.  All right?  A lot of places -- this is what Dasher, the reindeer is saying.  A lot of places do not have snow at Christmastime, but it doesn't keep Santa from coming.  Oh, see, he comes no matter what.  Comes no matter what.  Doesn't matter what you live in temperature-wise, because remember, some children, they don't have snow.  They have hot sun, or they live around the world where there isn't snow.  That doesn't matter.  Santa is magic.  He does not care whether or not there's snow.

   I want to remind you, the things Santa cares about the most is are you kind?   Are you loving?   Are you nice to the other boys and girls?  Because when I come back after I take a break, because I've got to give Santa a rest.  I promised I'd give him a rest every so often.  You know, he just can't nonstop answer my questions.  After all, he's getting ready to take off.  So, you know, I don't want to interrupt him because, wow, he told me they're really tired.  They've been working all year, and they are tired out. 

   So we're going to let Santa -- Santa, sorry, I won't bother you for a while.  You can take a little break while we take a little break.  Hey, kids, this is the Christmas Eve show with Joyce Bender, and I'll be right back with Santa.  Don't go away.

   >>JOYCE BENDER:  Welcome back to Santa land.  You know, if you just turned on the radio, if you just turned on your Internet, boys and girls, I am talking on-line to Santa, although I don't have a lot of time because he is so, so busy.  And you know, he wanted me to tell you another thing that I forgot.  So here's another message from Santa.  He's going to give me different little messages.  He wanted me to send a message out about Emily. 

   Now, Emily, like me, has epilepsy, and Emily is only 7 years old.  So when you have epilepsy, you have a seizure, you know?  And if you've had people have seizures, there are all different types.  You either fall down and you have a convulsion or you move a lot, or you could just be staring off into space for a few minutes, a few seconds, actually.  But there are millions of little boys and girls that have epilepsy.  I do too.  And of course we're not ashamed and we shouldn't be, and no one should ever make fun of us.

   But what happened to Emily is she had a best friend, Linda, and they always played together, and they went to each other's house all the time.  They played with their Barbie dolls.  They did everything together.  But one day at the playground Emily told Linda, "I've got to get my medicine."  And she said, "What medicine?"  She said, "Oh, I have epilepsy."  Well, Linda looked a little upset almost.  But Emily knew she would get over it.  Well, two days later was going to be the little birthday party at Linda's house, and of course her best friend Emily would be invited.  But this time she wasn't invited.  And do you know why?  Because Linda told her mommy that Emily had epilepsy and then she did not want to have her over.

   Now, Emily, we all love you.  God loves you, and let me tell you what:  Santa -- guess what he did?  Santa sent little friends to Emily.  She made other little friends, and you know what?  She doesn't care now, because her other little friends, other little boys and girls love her just the way she is.  Remember, remember what Santa said.  You want to be on that good list.  You can't be making fun of other people.  Not going to work.

   I have another little friend.  His name is Justin, and Justin, he has a disability.  It's an intellectual disability.  And you can't tell because he's so, so smart.  But Justin knew this other little kid that could not ride a bike because of their disability.  They needed money to help buy a bike.  And guess what Justin did?   He gave them money.  He donated money.  He himself has a disability, but he wanted to help these other children, and now there's a child that has a bike, a special bike made just for them that they could not ride before.  And it's all because of the love of one little boy.

   Some of you may be off going to church tonight with your family before Santa comes, and of course that's a good thing.  You'll be singing Christmas carols, you'll be singing "Away in a Manger," "Silent Night," and you will remember that the whole purpose of Christ, which is why it's called Christmas, is love, loving people no matter what they are, helping people whether they're poor.  It doesn't matter.  God loves everyone the same.  And no matter what someone's religious belief is, even if it's, you know, from another country or you have someone at school, they believe different than you do, God loves them, and you should not judge them.  Always remember that.  Whether the person believes through their own belief in God and they are a person of the Jewish faith, or Islam, and they love God, you should never ever make fun of them.  Always remember that.

   So wait a minute here.  Oh, we have some more questions for Santa.  I've got to go back to Santa questions.  Santa -- wait a minute, I've got to get him on-line again.  Hold on.  I'm finding Santa.

   Okay, Santa.  Here's the question for Santa.  How does Santa understand all the different languages of the world?  Well, I'm waiting, waiting for the answer.  Oh, oh, okay here it is.  Santa says some call it magic and other people think I'm just really smart.  But I do use magic so that I can understand all the languages that everyone speaks.  See what I told you before, boys and girls?  You're supposed to love everyone, no matter who they are, no matter what country they're from, you love everyone the same.

   Hey, here's my question.  How are you getting ready for Santa tonight?  What are you doing?  Are you going to bed really early?  Are you singing Christmas carols?  Maybe mommy and daddy are reading a Christmas story to you?  What are you doing?  Or as I said, maybe you went to church and now you're at home and you're getting ready for Santa.  And Santa is soon going to be taking off.  Wait a minute.  Oh, Willard the elf.  Willard the elf told me to tell you that he's worked all year on some of the toys.  One of his special toys is a truck.  It's a special truck that he makes.  It's a fire truck, and it has lights and it makes noise, and Willard wants to say he can't wait till some boys and girls get that fire truck. 

   And wait, what's the other thing?  Oh.  Guess what Willard is in charge of at the North Pole?  Legos.  Willard is in charge of Legos.  I'll bet all you boys and girls know what Legos are.  He just wanted me to tell you he's the one that makes all the Legos.  And boy, there are a lot of Legos, aren't there?  I bet you all have different favorite Legos.  Actually, I can't believe it.  They must be making Legos forever.  You know, they used to call this North Pole Santa land.  It could be called Santa Lego land because that's how many Legos all these elves have to make.  Okay, Willard, you do a good job, you and -- oh -- he wanted me to tell you, it isn't just him.  He has hundreds and hundreds of others that help him.  He is just over them but he could never do it without them. 

   Oh, okay.  Willard the elf.  He wants me to tell all you boys and girls, remember, it isn't just you, like say you're on a baseball team or a volleyball team, I don't care what it is, something you play at school.  Willard said all people that play on your team are important, to always remember that.  Or if you're doing a little art project, everyone is important, not just you.  And Willard wants to make sure I let you know that.

   Okay.  Yes, I know, I know, Santa is getting busier and busier as we move on here.  He is getting busy because he's getting ready to take off.  So I'll tell what you.  I'm going to give Santa a little time of not bothering him, and that way all of you, you can run out and get a little hot chocolate and some marshmallows before I come back on with Santa.  This is Joyce Bender, and I'm calling you live with Santa on-line.  We'll be right back.

         >>JOYCE BENDER:  Merry Christmas.  It's Christmas Eve.  I love Christmas Eve.  I've always loved Christmas Eve, and I always will.  And you know what?  I love Santa.  I do.  I love Santa.  You know what?  In my office where I work I have over ten Santas, statues of Santa.  And guess what?  I keep them all year.  All year round I keep them.  I love them.  And you know what else I love?  Charles Dickens.  He wrote the book "A Christmas Carol."  I bet some of you have heard of that, because it's with Scrooge.  Scrooge, Marley, Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim.  And you know what that story is about?  Well, it's about a man that was really mean, grouchy.  When the little boys and girls would come and sing at his door he'd tell them, "Get out of here."  And he lived a long, long time ago, way, way back, way back in time.  And he just -- he just wasn't nice.  And if someone would go to him and say, "Hey, could you contribute some money to help people who are poor?"  He would say no, I don't care about them.

   Well, one night when he went home, he met a friendly ghost that he used to work with, Marley, and Marley came back, because he used to be his partner, and you know what he told Ebenezer Scrooge?  He said, "Mankind is our business."  And by the end of this story Scrooge changed.  He loves Christmas.  He made Christmas a year-round event and he wasn't mean anymore and he gave money to help people and he welcomed the little children to sing at his door.

   But do you know what that means, mankind is our business?  That means that although we all have things that we do, we all get tied up in so many things, and unfortunately, kids, it's the big people that unfortunately get tied up thinking all of their business and where they go to work and what they do is more important than anything.  But what they forget is mankind is our business, helping poor people, helping widows, helping kids with disabilities, helping kids that don't have money, helping everyone.  See, that's what Christmas is all about.  You know what it's about?  Giving.  The spirit of Christmas is giving.

   Wait a minute.  Okay, I'm getting a text now on my phone, my cell phone.  I'm getting a text.  Oh, it's from Santa.  Oh, he wanted me to tell you -- start getting ready -- how happy he is, he can't wait to come to your house.  He's so excited.  Love Santa.  Okay.  Well, I told you, I read to you what he said.

   Now, hey, you have other questions for Santa.  Remember, we're running out of time here because Santa has got to get going.  So let's see.  Okay.  Here's someone's question.  What are the elves' job?  Well, the elves.  Let's see.  What do they do?  Oh, Mrs. Claus is going to answer this one.  Hold on.  Takes a little bit of time to get that message from the North Pole.  Here they go, boys and girls.  Here's what elves do.  They make toys.  They care for the reindeer.  They wrap presents.  They help in the kitchen.  They clean and they all work together to make the North Pole a clean and comfortable place to live.

   See, you need to keep your rooms clean, you need to be like the elves, because boy, you wouldn't like it if your toys were dirty, would you?  You got to keep your little area clean.  You have to make sure you help mommy and daddy -- remember I told you that.  Okay.

   Let's see.  Santa -- oh, here's what one little girl wants to know, because everyone -- see, next year you'll have to do this.  Everyone sent me their questions ahead of time.  Okay.  How do the reindeer fly?  Now, that's a good question.  Oh, Santa is back.  He's on-line.  Santa, how do the reindeer fly?  Okay.  Wait a minute.  Oh, I never knew that.  I never knew that.  Santa said they eat special corn that makes them fly.  Did you know that?  Did you know they eat special corn that makes them fly?  Oh.  Santa, where do you get that?  Oh, you can't get it.  They only make it at the North Pole.  Well, that makes sense or we'd be selling animal fly around everywhere.  No, no, only at the North Pole.  They love this corn and that's what makes them fly.  Okay.

   Oh, here's another little girl.  Here's her question for Santa.  Santa, now that I have you here on-line, what is your favorite food?  Oh, yeah, he likes this question.  He said he doesn't have time to lift everything that's his -- list everything that's his favorite food but he'll talk about his most favorite foods.  Number one, top of his list is cookies.  How about that, cookies!   But he'll eat just about anything that you like and that you leave for him on Christmas Eve.  He won't leave anything behind.

   Okay.  Santa, is there any food you don't eat?  Oh, yeah.  Well, Santa won't eat any reindeer burgers, and that makes sense, now, doesn't it?  Well, Santa, you eat so much.  I have a question for you.  How much do you weigh?  Well, he said a little more than I should, but I stay healthy with all this exercise.  Okay.  He has another message for me.  What?  What, Santa?  Oh, okay.  Okay.  Santa says since we're talking about food right now that he wants you to remember it's important to eat healthy food, you know, fruit and vegetables, not just junk food.  You shouldn't just eat junk food.  He said you need to eat good, healthy food.  And he said you need to exercise.  Wait a minute.  Okay.  Okay.  Get out of the house.  This is what Santa said.  When you go play don't just stay inside and stare at games and video games.  He said, go out and play, play ball.  Run around.  Have a good time, but you need to exercise.  Santa said he wants to see you -- remember he watches you all year -- he wants to see you outside playing, not just sitting in the house.

   Uh-oh, guess what, we're almost running out of time here.  Okay.  Yes, Santa, I know.  When I come back, kids, this is it!   You've got to get ready to take off.  So -- he's got to get ready to take off so I'll be right back with Santa.

          

   >>JOYCE BENDER:  Hi, everyone.  Hi, boys and girls.  How are you?  It is Christmas Eve.  Oh, my goodness.  I bet you are all so excited.  I know, I love Christmas Eve.  Hey, I bet I know what you're doing.  I bet before you go to bed you're going to get those cookies and milk and put it out on the table for Santa.  You should write him a note too.  You should leave him a note, you know, about all the things that you heard me talk about and that you're going to make sure you do for next year.  You should write it down.

   I have two other lovely little nephews, Logan and Nolan, and I'll be seeing them soon too, and you know what?  I hope they're being nice to their mommy and daddy.  They know I love them and they know because I bring them so many toys, oh, yes, I do.  That's why their mommy likes me so much.

   Hey, I want to do something before we go on any further.  I want to tell you how much I love all of you and how much I enjoy this show and how much I am so honored and thrilled that Santa chose me to talk to on-line to send you these messages.  Oh, that is so wonderful.  But I also want to read something to you before we get ready to finish the show, because everyone needs to hear this.  Christmas Eve before they go to bed.  Are you ready?  Here we go, boys and girls.

   "It was the night before Christmas when all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.  The stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.  The children were nestled all snug in their beds while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.  And mama in her kerchief and I in my cap had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap.  When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.  Away to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.  The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow gave the luster of midday to objects below.  When what to my wondering eyes should appear was but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer, with a little old driver so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.  More rapid than eagle, his coursers they came, and he whistled and shouted and called them by name.  Now, Dasher, now Dancer, now Prancer and Vixen, on Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen.  To the top of the porch and top of the wall, now dash away, dash away, dash away all, as dry leaves before the wild herd can fly, when they meet with an obstacle mount to the sky. 

   So up to the housetop the coursers they flew, with a sleigh full of toys and St. Nicholas too.  And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.  As I drew in my head and was turning around, down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.  He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.  A bundle of toys was flung on his back, and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.  His eyes, how they twinkled, his dimples, how merry, his cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry.  His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, and the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.  The stub of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.  He had a little round face and a round belly that shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly.  He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, and I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself.  A wink of his eye and a twist of his head soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.  He spoke not a word but went straight to his work and filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk, and laying his finger aside of his nose and giving a nod up the chimney he rose.

   He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, and away they all flew like the down of a thistle.  But I heard him explain, ere he drove out of sight, happy Christmas to all and to all a good night."

   Oh, I love that story.  Don't you?  Well, I've got to go, because guess what?  Santa has got to go.  He's getting ready, boys and girls.  As a matter of fact, wait a minute, he's soon taking off.  Okay, he has a message.  He said he has a special message.  He has a special message for all of you.  So hold on, and by the way, boys and girls, I love you and I wish you a Merry Christmas.  Merry Christmas!   Hold on.  Okay, Santa, what do you want to say?

   >>SANTA CLAUS: Special delivery for you from the North Pole.  Merry Christmas!  Ho Ho Ho!

   >>JOYCE BENDER: Oh, I hope you heard that.  Well, Santa is on his way, boys and girls, and I'm going to get ready too, because I've got to wait for Santa to come to my house.  To all of you boys and girls and your mommies and daddies, Merry Christmas!

  

                     (This text is provided as a realtime service and is not to be copied from any live event.  Please contact Caption First if you would like to receive a properly formatted transcript of this event.)

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                          This text is being provided in a rough draft format.  Communication access realtime translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.