Kris Kringle

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Chuck McCann :
December 22 1987 (# 852) to December 25 1988 (# 855), October 14 1988 (# 1061), December 21 1988 (# 1108) to December 23 1988 (# 1110), December 21 1990 (# 1616)

Portrait

The magic of Christmas being an inevitable element of the episodes of the end of year in the American series, Santa Barbara had to participate in the game by bringing in not less that Santa Claus himself !

It is on the occasion of the charity fair in the Orient Express that in this Christmas 1987 Julia Wainwright and Mason Capwell are in charge of recruiting the best double of Kris Kringle, the American name given to Santa Claus. They do not suspect that the one they find the most resembling turns to be Kris Kringle himself ! This resemblance is all the more disturbing as he is the only applicant not to be in traditional costume... Each of the answers that he gives to Julia and Mason is only the truth : for example, he says he cannot live somewhere else that in the North Pole because of his reindeers... Even if they take him for an old eccentric madman, they agree to offer him the role, and let him, the next day, distribute presents to the needy children. Kris seems to know perfectly each of the children; every time he gives a present to a child, he accompanies it with an anecdote.

But as the money reserved for the purchase of presents was stolen at night, Keith Timmons, the district attorney, accuses Kris of the theft and throws him in prison. Julia obliges then Mason to help her to assure Kris's defense. During one of their meetings, Kris mentions personal details of the life of Keith and Julia, who consolidates her in the certainty that he is really Kris Kringle. He tells that at the age of 14, Keith asked at Christmas for a false driving licence, whereas Julia had asked for a pink bike with a creaking wheel (her father then had to repair it). A little of magic, and Kris flies away of his cell to get back to his cabin under the snow. It is there that Julia and Mason find him, to recommend him to surrender. Kris explains them that he cannot, because not only it snows, but, besides, it is the night of Christmas Eve and he has some work to do because he has to deliver toys. Blocked by snowfalls, Julia and Mason find themselves forced to spend the night in the cabin, and see Kris flying away in the middle of the night on his sleigh, for the annual distribution of presents ! Kris keeps his momentum the next day, by watching that his hosts, as well as Victoria Lane, Sophia and C.C. Capwell has a good night's sleep for Christmas by offering them dreams of happiness and serenity.

Next year, Kris makes his return, but already well before Christmas. In October, he reminds himself to Mason's memory, who suffers then from split personality. Thanks to his appearance, he creates in the mind of his alter-ego Sonny Sprocket a doubt : how can he remember Kris and Christmas 1987 he spent in his company, if he is Sonny and not Mason ?

But it is another couple than Kris is going to welcome in his cabin in Christmas 1988. Eden and Cruz Castillo, in search of a double of Santa Claus for a charity fair in Michael Donnelly's chapel, go to Kris's cabin to ask him for this service. Kris accepts, and offers presents and happiness to the children and the young orphans whom Eden and Cruz invited. But, wounded in the ankle, Kris is in the incapacity to assure in the evening the distribution of presents to the children of the whole world. Never mind, Cruz agrees to supply him. Accompanied by elf Malcolm, he loads the sleigh of toys and flies away for a magic night worldwide. To thank them, Kris offers to Eden and Cruz a magic stone able of fulfillling a unique wish. It is thanks to this stone that the young Brandon Capwell wakes up of his coma at the hospital, surrounded by his happy family.

It is two years later, on Christmas Eve 1990, that Brandon crosses himself Kris's path, that he had never met directly. In a Las Vegas casino where they came to get married, Gina Capwell and Keith Timmons meet a man named Nick, who tells them to have lost invaluable goods, stolen by bandits. Perceiving the importance of these stolen properties, Brandon urges Keith to play to the casino Gina's wedding ring to win the money necessary for Nick to get them back. To thank them, Nick makes the surprise to fill Gina and Keith's hotel room of presents, as well as to return her ring to Gina. For Brandon, no doubt : it is well Kris Kringle that they met.

It will be the last appearance of Kris Kringle in the show, a last Christmas still charged with magic and fantasy for Santa Barbara...

Read also : Santa Barbara outer limits

Press article
The most beautiful Christmas of the stars of Santa Barbara !, 1987
The photos of Kris
Chuck McCann

  Kris9.jpg (130098 octets)