Did you know Santa had a brother that was allergic to snow? That’s right. Billy Claus prefers the snow-white sands of Gulf Shores to the treacherous blizzards of the North Pole. The good news is he’s a direct link to the Big Man himself.

Join Billy Claus and his personal team of elves known as the LuLuBelles on Dec. 14 for his 8th annual appearance at LuLu’s. Old Billy will be arriving by seaplane at 2 p.m. for a day filled with arts and crafts, live music and photo ops. Billy is close enough to his brother that children are welcome to bring their Christmas wish list and should rest assured knowing he will get them into the proper hands.

The event concludes at dusk with the Nautical Nights Boat Parade. Be sure and read the entire story for yourself in Lucy Buffet’s “Billy Claus and LuLubelles: the Story of Christmas Island” available at the LuLu’s gift shop. But wait, there’s more!

New Year’s Eve has never been as kid friendly as it is at LuLu’s for this year’s 9th Annual Kid’s New Year. Festivities begin at 10 a.m. with more arts, crafts, and live music. The beach ball drops at noon and a giant bubble wrap fireworks display begins at 4 p.m.

Both events are free admission. Visit www.lulubuffet.com for more information.

Billy’s Brother Santa takes over Sundays at the Gulf

While Billy is playing with his elves on Saturday his more famous brother Santa will be getting ready to hit the Beach Club for Sunday brunch. As a matter of fact, every Sunday in December Santa will be stopping by for brunch through Dec. 22.

Chef Brody Olive will be serving up the good stuff with St. Nick from 10 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. By good stuff we mean the usual brunch suspects plus mini quiche muffins, pan seared crab cakes, asparagus hash, and herb rubbed prime rib.

Of course the 40-ingredient Bloody Mary and Mimosa bar is off limits to the good kids, but they will be occupied building gingerbread houses, stockings and taking pictures with the bearded one.

The adult cost is $19.95, and the kid discount is $9.95. Children 5 or under get the royal treatment for free. Also included is pool and beach access. Call ahead for reservations. (251) 224-3600.

Hungry Owl getting some TV time

I confirmed a rumor that Travel Channel will be in town to shoot some footage at the Hungry Owl on Thursday, Dec. 19. Details are sketchy, but apparently it is for a new show yet to be released. I’m certain the corner of Cottage Hill and Schillinger will be hopping that day, and not just because of the fish and grits with candied jalapenos. Underhill Family Orchestra will also be performing. I am hoping to be smothered in food at the Growler Bar.

Don’t worry, Mobile. Santa doesn’t just spend time on the beach. He hit the Hungry Owl too. Stop in and help Santa by bringing in an unwrapped, new toy for the Toys for Tots drive. Chef Tony will gladly take 10 percent off your bill. That program is going on as we speak, so don’t hesitate.

PDQ opens on University

People Dedicated to Quality is the latest fast food biz in Mobile. PDQ for short, these guys boast a new take on fast food with an emphasis on freshness and quality. The menu is simplistic with chicken tenders being the centerpiece, but they also offer turkey sandwiches, salads, fries and handspun milkshakes. Not a bad meal.

Get the full menu at www.eatpdq.com and head on down to 116 S. University Blvd.

Melting Pot gains a step toward Mobile

We told you about it when it was just a rumor, but the Melting Pot has put up a “coming soon” sign at their future Montlimar location. In the former Chili’s, Melting Pot is a fondue restaurant I have admired for many a year. I love the danger of drinking a beer or two and cooking your food in a pot of hot oil or dipping bread into a cauldron of scalding, bubbling cheese. It’s really good, but it requires a small amount of skill.
There is still no word on the actual opening date but we are sure to keep you posted.

Do your best to have a safe and happy holiday season. Give more than you get, cook more than you eat, slip Pop Tarts in a stocking if Santa forgets, recycle those wrapping paper tubes as light sabers. Merry Christmas!