Crossing Santa

Santa looks down in a display that’s sending a message from Art Conrad’s front yard.

Several times I’ve driven by a house on 11th and Highland that is lit like the Griswalds for Christmas. It made me think I’d like to drive around town and capture some of the other noteworthy displays. Perhaps I still will.

In the meantime, however, I received an e-mail tipping me off to an odd sight in West Bremerton.

The other night I was walking home when I came across a home on Olympic Ave. between fourth and Burwell. In the front window you can see a nicely done tree for the holidays. The odd thing about this house was what was on the front porch and out in the front lawn. On the porch was a life size decapitated Santa Claus holding a knife. In the front yard is a 20 foot tall cross with another life-sized Santa nailed to it.

Thursday night I drove by the house and saw what he was talking about and sure enough it’s as he advertised.

Friday I went back to the house, had Larry Steagall shoot a couple photos, talked to some neighbors and passers-by and came back to the office. Later I was able to get in touch with the owner. Surely there had to be a story behind it. There is.

Read the story and tell me whether you think Art Conrad belongs on the “naughty” or “nice” list.

18 thoughts on “Crossing Santa

  1. I read about this on So I found your website and read the complete story. I think the guy has a lot of guts to do something like this. I have to admire him for that. When I go to the store to go Christmas shopping, the employees are afraid the wish me a Merry Christmas. I still can’t believe that we have come to a place in this country where Christmas is so controversial, that people hesitate to wish others a Merry Christmas. Congratulations Art Conrad, you have my respect.

  2. The guy with the Santa cross is a bona fide jerk.
    Why do we give space to these morons? (this of course is a rhetorical question. we give space to weasels like Harry Reid, so i guess it naturally follows…)

  3. For those of us who beleive that Jesus Christ, the blameless Son of God, died for our sins on a cross…the ultimate torture in Roman culture, and a source of shame and utter indignity, this display is a slap in the face. Its intention may be to decry the commercialism of Christmas, but it is still blasphemy. Please, please take this down. Our Lord was crucified and mocked once….please, in honor of His name and the celebration of His coming to Earth for yours and my behalf…do not use the cross for mockery once again.

  4. The fact that this country tries to replace Christ with the pagan fictional dwarf is more of a slap into the faces of Christians…. I am just wondering how many Christians took their children to be photographed with that pagan dwarf.

  5. Someone’s freedom of expression will offend some and may at times offend almost everyone. At least in our country we only comment and not issue fatwas and (usually) not kill others for not agreeing with our religious or political beliefs/opinions.

  6. The over-commercialization of Christmas is the major reason I try to just get through to January without going nuts. Thank you, Mr. Conrad, for your display and getting people talking. It’s at least a creative departure from the ‘buy me’ drivel that permeates the season.

  7. Freedom of expression includes the freedom to be a jackass. Tolerating jackasses in our midst is perhaps the cheapest price we pay for the freedom to express things that really matter.

  8. “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger”.

    “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:11-14

    Regardless of the specific date and time, Jesus was born over 2000 years ago…and we celebrate that most important Gift of all (no Santa required).

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  9. I am an Iowa Christian, and I am not offended by the display. Personally, I am offended by the lack of respect the CHRISTmas holiday is given. Nobody minds taking the day off from work, buying tons of “gifts” (you know, the things that Wal-Mart and Sears ask us to put under the “holiday tree”), and fighting each other over the last wii game console. You would think however that someone’s cat got ran over in front of them any time you have the audacity to utter “Merry Christmas”. The nerve; turning this into a Christian holiday! Kudos Art Conrad for protesting the real “magesterium” in THIS country. But remember, even the dollar is in jeapordy of losing that most inflammatory of phrases from it’s back…..IN GOD WE TRUST.

  10. The children matter, and what they feel and think matters…not the adults who see such strange behavior from another adult and imagine what they will from it.

    How can seeing such public displays be in the best interest of most children?

    Weren’t some of the most bloody wars in history committed in the name of religion…each religion convinced God only loved them…that only one belief was God’s ‘way’?

    Isn’t God found everywhere, not just in one religion’s churches?

    The mountains are God’s Cathedral, God’s House and where a person -alone – given enough time up there – will feel the Spirit and power of God. And it never leaves. Not even for a coffee break.

    His Spirit can more easily fill our soul, alone, in the mountains, the oceans,the desert, anywhere in nature.

    Believe it or not, Mr. Phelps, God loves His people in all religions. He is found in all countries for those who seek Him..
    In my opinion… Sharon O’Hara

  11. Kevin Kinion: The employees aren’t afraid about wishing you a “Merry Christmas.” Not everyone celebrates Christmas, so instead they say “Happy Holidays” so that it applies to everyone instead of just those who celebrate Christmas. I know this will be hard for someone like you to understand, but some people celebrate other holidays at the end of December so saying “Happy Holidays” just makes more sense. Oh and have fun watching Fox News, the propaganda news network.

  12. Alex… our Seattle Fox News Ch.13 was the ONLY local television station to run a piece on COPD during November’s COPD month in 2006.
    They interviewed a local COPD patient, a physician from the University of Washington Medical Center and the American Lung Association of Washington.

    COPD is the 4th leading cause of death in the US – 5th in the world.

    COPD kills more people than lung cancer and breast cancer combined. Who knew?

    It also…in many cases…leads to other medical conditions.

    One person I know was diagnosed first with COPD and within the following 13 years developed Sarcoidosis (lungs) diagnosed after an open lung biopsy – RLS – Sleep Apnea – Psoriasis – Arthritis in her left hip and the latest, a chronic lower leg condition. adding to painful and tender skin on her legs, swelling, water blisters leading to infections causing extreme pain. I’ve seen the yellow pus ooze down and painfully dry on her scaly, scabbed legs. She’s had it twice in the past couple years… Venous Stases Lesions.

    She was and is grateful to Fox 13 – the first and ONLY local television station to bring COPD public awareness of the long and slow smothering disease. Most often their hearts give out first.
    Viva la Seattle’s Fox 13!
    In my opinion… Sharon O’Hara

  13. Sharon,
    We so seldom agree on anything, but in this case, I have to agree with you that COPD needs more attention. Especially in light of how debilitating a disease it is.

    It’s frustrating that fighting breast cancer is deemed so much more important. Heartbreaking, really, that we can’t make room or time to fight this serious disease.

  14. Yes, it is a shame, Mary, but the tide is beginning to turn as evidenced by COPD ads and notices on TV.

    COPDers are beginning to learn – over and above good medical help – the single best thing they can do for themselves is exercise beyond the shortness of breath, to regain or continue to gain, muscle to aid in improving quality of life. To do more, not less.

    Lung and breast cancer usually kills quickly unless treated fast and successfully…. thanks to all the research dollars pumped into the popular diseases.

    COPD is slow developing…usually twenty years or so before the patient has enough symptoms to seek medical help.

    Its a gradual slow smothering and most COPDers look healthy…especially the ones who do not desaturate enough for oxygen.

    A simple Spirometry test taking minutes is a means for early detection…most helpful and can be life saving…except for the folks who have the Alpha One (inherited) type of Emphysema. The treatment for Alpha One is different.

    Thanks Mary.
    Though we rarely agree I believe your comments came from a good heart.

    In my opinion…Sharon O’Hara

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