Thursday, December 24, 2009

20 photos of Christmas, Day 19 | Santa takes break, catches some surf

In front of his home in Cocoa Beach, George Trosset - wearing a beard of rags - rides the waves on Christmas Eve as part of a photo op pitched to my employer, FLORIDA TODAY.

Note: Because I was raised in New England, Christmas is different in Florida, but it's still Christmas nonetheless. And I need to convince myself of that. So, in the next 20 days, including the holiday itself, I intend to find Christmas here in Brevard County and portray it through a different photo each day.

Amid his frantic worldwide gift delivering, Santa Claus and two of his elves took a break to go surfing in Cocoa Beach this morning, Christmas Eve. Why he chose Florida - where the surf was of decent height but extremely choppy Thursday - over Hawaii or Australia, I do not know.

Only a staff photographer from FLORIDA TODAY and the surfers' family were initially on hand for the stunt - in addition to yours truly, of course. I heard of it only through the newspaper's photo editor. After the surfers attempted to catch a few waves, they attracted a few onlookers who were wondering what was happening.

The female elf threw in the towel quickly. The surf was simply too rough. The other elf braved the cool water for a while but never caught a wave. Santa himself managed a few decent runs, then went ashore after his helpers were safely on dry land.

Earlier editions
Day 1: A lighted bush and the bokeh effect
Day 2: The city tree at warp speed
Day 3: Lights' reflection on a retention pond
Day 4: More than just seasonal colors
Day 5: Golden lights during the golden hour
Day 6: Four Christmas trees and one giant ornament
Day 7: Future Santa Claus
Day 8: Ornament on a Charlie Brown-style tree
Day 9: Stars in the east during the Geminids
Day 10: Historic building a reminder of home, literally
Day 11: Cocoa Beach welcome tree at sunset
Day 12: A tree and a fountain
Day 13: The season's simplicity through children
Day 14: The secret to reindeer magic: smoothies
Day 15: A church cross at sunset
Day 16: Getting close to a ribbon with new lens
Day 17: Santa, with a significance
Day 18: Palm trees at sunset

An elf, George Trosset Jr., cheers his father, Santa Claus, as Jolly Old St. Nick catches a wave.

One of Santa's helpers makes a quick stand before falling into shallow water and paddling back to shore.

Santa rides a pretty wave.

A boy - a member of Santa's gallery for the surfing event - plays with the sand as Claus comes ashore.

FLORIDA TODAY photographer Rik Jesse shoots a congratulatory smooch between Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

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