At the turn of the 20th century, the idea of kids writing letters to Santa Claus was still new. Post offices, newspapers, and charities publicly disputed how to handle the letters. It was a logistical and public relations problem, which would take a clever plan to address.
John Gluck was a workaday customs broker who dreamed of bigger things. So when he heard that the Postal Service needed help with letters to Santa, he came forward with a plan to get the letters into the hands of donors. With a little help from a troop of boy scouts, John Gluck and his Santa Claus Association did the (seemingly) impossible.
What happens when a charitable endeavor starts looking more and more like an elaborate con? As Gluck sought to expand operations, he started playing fast and loose with the facts in order to raise money and hobnob with the rich and powerful.
During the Great War, fraudulent wartime charities abounded in New York City. When the district attorney started a sweeping investigation, John Gluck found himself in his crosshairs. But that was just the beginning of his troubles.
You'd think that Gluck couldn't make things worse for himself...but you'd be wrong. He finds himself the subject of more investigations, and gets himself into hot water with the state Attorney General. But this isn't the end of the Santa Claus Association. But...that is coming.
In the early 20s, John Gluck wanted to reinvigorate the Santa Claus Association to its original glory, with the help of some high profile endorsements.But along the way, he crossed the one man who figures out the stunningly simple way to shut down Gluck once and for all.
I'm back with another Ber Months Bonus episode. Your favorite Christmas radio station may have you thinking that there are only about two dozen Christmas songs (mostly from the 1940s and 50s) worth listening to. Nonsense! In this episode, I share some new music worthy of your next Christmas playlist.
I'm back with another Ber Months Bonus episode. This week, I read the classic short story by Hans Christian Andersen: The Little Match Girl.
I'm back with another Ber Months Bonus episode! This week, I'm taking you inside Christmas Con 2019.
I'm back with another Ber Months Bonus episode! This time, I read you the short story "Keep it all the Year" by Sarah Tipper. You can find her short story collection, Tales to take you to Christmas, on Amazon.