Dear Santa…

2019-11-29 05:19:26.000 – Ryan Knapp, Weather Observer/Staff Meteorologist


Dear Santa-
Another year has flown by here on the summit of Mt Washington. I hope all is going well with you, the missus, and all your helpers up at the North Pole. I know that this time of year is quite hectic for y’all but I hope that it is going smoothly as you get everything ready for those on your “Nice List.”
Speaking of that “Nice” list, I am hoping we grace its pages once again this year… I like to think that we acted kindly and respectfully to all our interns, guests, friends, families and pet (Marty Kitty). Speaking of Marty, he once again sends his regards. He looks forward to receiving the special scoopable litter you traditionally bring him. We are eternally grateful that you have listened to our request to stop bringing him toys and catnip; we were running out of space to store it all since he is not a huge fan of either of them. And he has requested no cat treats or cat food this year as he has enough to last him for years and storing excessive amounts attracts rodents. If looking to lighten your load and ensure he gets what he can use, you can make a donation on his behalf so we can buy supplies that might be needed in the coming year.
When you arrive at NH State Parks Sherman Adams Building, you will find a similar layout to last year. If you are having trouble remembering, your scout the Elf on the Shelf has been creeping on us and can give you a preliminary report and guide you to your milk and the freshly baked cookies for a quick in and out.
This year, we will snail mail the list to you next Wednesday after shift change but in the meantime, we have set up a digital list below that you can utilize today, and to streamline things even further, we have set up a WHISHLIST on Amazon to consolidate it all at one page and add last minute items to. Of course, anything listed is just for reference and alternatives can certainly be substituted.
So, if it is not too much trouble; could you get us one or more of the following?
1. Kitchen supplies – while we have a fully stocked kitchen, in talking with our volunteers we found that we need some cereal containers as several of our current ones have broken lids. A replacement 12-cup carafe-style coffee pot. Assorted large storage containers for flour, sugar, pasta, etc to keep them fresh and rodent free while being stored. Spatulas would be useful as well as a few of ours have seen better days. And a few oven mitts and/or pot holders as a few of them look like someone was juggling with fire or something. And a whetstone for sharpening our various knives would help out.
2. Office Supplies – We work like an office, so anything you can send that will cut costs for us is great: mechanical pencils, lead refills (0.5 or 0.7mm), erasers, pens, multi-colored sharpies, dry erase markers, average or small post-it notes, printer paper, etc.
3. Humidifiers – preferably ones that are easy to clean and don’t require wasteful paper cartridges replacement. I know the summit is in the fog over 60% of the year but when a parcel of air is warmed, it’s RH drops and that can sometimes mean while the outdoors is 100% RH, the indoors in winter can be anywhere between 5-20%. We need one to four small room humidifiers. If not new ones, we could certainly use some replacement filters for our current unit.
4. Binoculars as these can (when clear) assist with Search and Rescue efforts; so the stronger the magnification and clearer the optics, the better.
5. A gimbal for our smartphone that we use to shoot Facebook Live with as these will improve the stability of our shots.
6. Shovels – while we prefer steel ones as they last better with ice, aluminum or poly-types are also welcome as all of them will better assist us in keeping our fire exits and areas around our instruments clear.
7. A Roku or other media streaming option as ours is listed as possibly losing support in the upcoming year.
8. Video on Demand gift card – Since we don’t have cable, satellite, etc up here, we use Netflix or Disney Plus video on demand to provide us occasional entertainment for an hour or two in the evening to unwind.
9. Candles – Preferably the soy-based, large jar type or tumblers like the ones from Soyfire for example. They liven up our living quarters and make it feel more like home.
10. Candy and gum – Since I know you eat a lot of cookies and sweets, I know you can relate. Can we ever really have enough?
11. Surprise us yet again! – Sometimes the coolest gifts are the ones you didn’t think you needed.
Also Santa, if you are looking for gifts for other individuals on your list (while supporting us too), a few ideas for you are:
1. Gift Donations – This will help lighten your bag of toys and help us out in our bold step forward in the coming years.
2. Observatory Memberships – Not for the Observers, but for other boys and girls on your list around the world. Since we are membership supported, these gifts would be the gifts that keep giving over the year. And this year, when you sign up or give a gift membership, you receive a FREE limited edition Observatory ornament for you and the misses to enjoy (or re-gift if you so choose).
3. Trips – There are still available spots for EduTrips, Day Trips, and Partner-led Climbing Trips if you are looking for someone seeking a new experience on New England’s highest peak.
4. Shopping for Mt Washington items, weather instruments, calendars, books, pictures, etc – Not for us, but if you could purchase some from our online shop, it gives individuals on your list a great items or wall decor while providing us some financial support (two birds, one stone).
5. EMS gear or Oboz Footwear – Again, not for us as they have provided us with everything we need to stay warm and dry up here. This is a recommendation for if you plan on using outdoor clothing/boots/gear for gifts for others on your list.
6. If you shop Amazon during the holidays (or the rest of the year), you can use AmazonSmile. You get the item you want at no extra cost and in return The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases towards MWO. If signing up or switching between groups, search for and select “Mount Washington Observatory” then bookmark and make sure to use any time you make a purchase to support your favorite charity. They have even rolled this option out to some of their smartphone apps. Learn more on how to enable it in a browser HERE
That’s about it Santa. Remember that we don’t mind second hand items so long as they are in good, clean and usable condition. This helps out the environment and extends the life on perfectly usable stuff. We are really not picky and are just thankful for anything. Also, if you want a particular type of cookie and drink, like last year, you can post/DM your preferences on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages. We will try once again to keep the plate full, but you’ve had our summit volunteers cooking, it’s hard to pass up sometimes; so delicious!
Like usual, we will ensure that we have everything in order for your arrival: a clear observation deck and path to the door, well greased hinges (so we can’t hear you coming/going), deiced stairs, clean living quarters, decorated Christmas tree (maybe another real one like last year?), and a full plate of cookies next to a glass of milk/nog/soy. And we will keep you posted on the forecast leading up to and on the night of your arrival. Safe travels and we look forward to seeing you in a few weeks.

Boott Spur with November snow

Thank you and have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays –


Ryan Knapp, Weather Observer/Staff Meteorologist

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