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Kids In Hospitals This Month Will Brighten
With Stories & Songs On 'Holiday Magic CD'
December 4, 2018

By John Florian

As sure as there's a Santa Claus … either make-believe or real … this month, thousands upon thousands of children who are stuck in hospitals over the holidays … worldwide! …will be smiling, singing, laughing, coloring and playing when Jeffery the Reindeer visits with the 16th annual Holiday Magic CD and Activity Book

The CD is a compilation of music and stories from all faiths and celebrations to brighten the days of these kids and their siblings.

And all the work is donated by talented voice actors, writers, singers, production engineers and other professionals.

If you've been in the voice-over biz a while, you probably know that the program and Jeffery the Reindeer are the creative inventions of Jeff Gelder (pictured), a voice actor and producer based in San Diego (Gelderhead Audio Productions).  

Years ago Gelder was challenged in a Landmark Education class to create a project that would enhance the community and ultimately take on a life of it's own.

And boy, has it ever. His dream has snowballed into an annual worldwide phenomenon.  

Jeff reports that this year, nearly 10,000 physical and downloadable CDs and coloring-activity books will reach hospitals in more than 71 cities, three countries - and more, as funds allow.  

Speaking of funds: if you'd like to help Jeff and crew spread the smiles ever further, you can donate at  


Every year since 2003, Jeff and his volunteers ask for submissions of songs, stories and storytellers to create a tale that is produced like a radio show. This year's production is called the Holiday Magic Gift for Children of All Ages 2018 CD Radio Show.  

The plot changes from year to year, but familiar characters reappear as Jeffery the Reindeer, voiced by Gelder, and Santa Claus (Phillip Tanzilo) make their way from the North Pole to deliver gifts to the children.

On the journey they're joined by Jeffery's cousin Carlito (Greg Dehm) who lives at the San Diego Wild Animal Park.

Along for the ride, too, are Kate the Adventurous Reindeer (Heather Martinez), Mrs. Claus (Penny Abshire), Trixie the Jersey Reindeer (Teri Wilder), and Thalion the Master Elf (Marc Graue), who runs Santa's workshop, and Santa's nurse (Anuradha Naga Chintalapudi). Jim Alburger is the tale's narrator.

This year's "Sugar Plum Fairy Christmas" story by Bill Kiesel tells what happens when Santa gets sick and can't deliver the gifts on Christmas Eve. And we're introduced to the Sugar Plum Fairy (Martha Kahn).

"The adventure shares funny stories and inspirational traditional and non-traditional songs along the way," Gelder explains. "Together, we discover the magic of the holidays and the true spirit of the season."


Behind the scenes, the real-life crew also hosts fund-raising events – and some even stage performances for the kids when delivering CDs to their local hospitals.  

When the CDs are ready, the volunteers gather for a shipping party - to address, label and take the boxes to FedEx.

Last year, the CD was also converted to digital downloads for further distribution - a suggestion that came from the kids - and a 12-page activity/coloring book accompanies the download.

Also behind the scenes: donations of studio and production time are made by Jim Alburger of, Tim Keenan of Creative Media, and David Goldberg at Edge Studio, which produces the compilation with music backgrounds and sound effects. 

"Thank you to all our volunteers and the amazing Children's Holiday Magic Inc. Board of Directors, who all generously donate their time and talents throughout the year," Gelder says. "It couldn't be done without each of their contributions."

And keep in mind that more money will lead to more cheer for those kids! Please consider donating at

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