Reports upon the community Christmas were received. Frank Gale was hailed as the successful impersonator of Santa Claus, king of the Kingdom of Childhood. Mr. Gale, in response, told of many touching incidents in the Community Christmas work.
"First of all I want to say that I was not Santa Claus, but that I had given to me from him his very best gift, and that was the opportunity for five long, happy days to wear his clothes," he said.
"Santa Claus was the Rotary club who gave a hundred and seventeen packages to thirty-seven families, The Salvation Army who gave twenty-five packages to twenty-five families, the Catholic parish and the Knights of Columbus who gave fifty-one packages to twenty-five families."
"Then there were individual good fellows who took care of cases that were overlooked, in one instance it was an old man, a stranger who otherwise would not have made his home by Christmas time.
"These gifts were food and clothing and other things that were practical.
"One lad wrote to Santa Claus: 'I wish you would take care of the poor kids on our block, and if you want to give me a sled.' Santa Claus' auto truck lost five pairs of overshoes Saturday afternoon and got them back from the man who found them and needed them for his own family. He said: 'I got so happy I couldn't keep them.'
Santa Claus asked one laddie where his father was and he said: 'Over town to see if he can't get something charged—I hope he made it, he had the first qualification for a good North Dakota citizen.
"One place all Christmas they were about to have was a tree stuck in a jug, and the little girl could not make the tree stand up straight. Later in the day the tree was as straight as a die and had the trimmings on it which some more fortunate kiddies had gladly taken off their own tree and helped in trimming, and there was an abundance of gifts placed at the base of the tree.
"In the case of a very well-to-do family, friends of Santa Claus host we made a friendly call, in the course of conversation it developed that Santa Claus was tired and worried for fear he would not have enough for the poor kiddies. The next morning when their own toys came they were afraid they had had too much and sent half of them to Santa Claus, and of all the happy part of their Christmas, I am told, the happiest part was that they could split fifty-fifty with the needy.
"One place there was a baby, the whole juvenile section of the south side was on the trail of Santa Claus and he sat by the bed and talked about the first Christmas story—and there wasn't much difference, a baby, kids, or angels or something singing on the outside—and while Santa could not see the star he could at least see the reflection in Hank's face.
"Twenty-two months ago I came to Bismarck for the first time. No one greeted me when I got off the train and there were not twenty people on the platform. I came in from the west. A little later I came in on the same train from the west this time to stay.
Last Friday without anyone knowing who I was, I came in with my self all smothered up and lost in the clothes of service, and while Teddy, Fock and the like had committees out to meet them, I had a crowd.
"I guess that is what you fellows stand for—lose yourself in service and your stunt will go over."
Bismarck Tribune, 12/27/1922