I was privileged today to meet Bill Swank. Perhaps you’ve met him, too. Since 2002, Bill has been the volunteer Santa Claus at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion during Balboa Park’s popular December Nights. He’s a friendly good guy who effortlessly spreads cheerfulness and joy.
Bill Swank is probably best known for being a leading expert on baseball and the San Diego Padres. He’s written numerous books about baseball history. His knowledge is so deep, the San Diego Historical Society has called him our city’s top baseball historian.
His most recent book, published earlier this year, is titled Christmas in San Diego. If you love both Christmas and San Diego, I know you’ll treasure this book. It’s loaded with history, local traditions and hundreds of fun, very unique photos. (Five photos from Cool San Diego Sights are in the book! How cool is that?)
Bill “Santa” Swank believes the true meaning of Christmas is found in the Golden Rule. His excellent book also proves another important truth: that human hearts are warmed when we are generous and kind. In the book you’ll see community-spirited Santas through the decades bringing joy to many generations, lifting the spirits of all.
From Christmas Eve way back in 1775, to the present day, Christmas in San Diego covers over two hundred years of local history. You’ll find out how both famous and ordinary San Diegans have celebrated the holiday season, and learn a good deal about many historical places and events. Personally, I love the parts concerning unselfish Santa Claus volunteers who’ve participated in a surprising range of charitable activities. Touching young and old alike, with a twinkle-eyed smile and merry Ho, Ho, Ho!
I was privileged to shake the hand of Santa Claus today. Read Christmas in San Diego, and you will be able to peer into Santa’s heart.