Santa, Mrs. Claus living in Iola
Couple celebrate Christmas all year
By Holly Neumann
Before Santa and Mrs. Claus are busy at the North Pole, the couple is spending time at their second home just outside of Iola.
“We just loved the people here,” Santa said. “This is a really nice little community.”
During their time in Wisconsin, the couple enjoys spending time with family and friends, going on their pontoon boat, fishing and swimming.
“There is never really a down time for me,” said Santa. “I am always wearing red. I even have a Santa swimming suit.”
They often visit Waupaca’s Chain O’ Lakes with their boat.
“We had parked our pontoon boat in a shallow area, and there was another family parked nearby,” Mrs. Claus said. “They had two little boys that kept looking and pointing until their mother finally brought them over. They were so excited.”
“They asked if it was really me,” Santa said. “When I told them yes, they asked what I was doing here.”
His reply was simple.
“The North Pole is cold this time of year. I like coming here to warm up,” he said.
As other boaters were passing by, adults also enjoyed catching a glimpse of Santa.
“They would yell and wave hi,” Santa said. “And put in their requests for things like new cars.”
“Even in our down time, Santa is always the star of the show,” said Mrs. Claus.
As Christmas approaches, the couple share some of their favorite stories about the holiday.
Santa’s favorite stories
“Without a doubt, I love the kids,” Santa said. “And I am so glad I can make the season special for them.”
He recalled sitting at the mall one weekend when a mother brought her young triplet daughters for a picture with him.
“Their mom plunked them on my lap and stepped back to take a picture. There I was trying to hold onto three little girls screaming and crying,” said Santa, laughing. “The picture was perfect. The mom entered it in a ‘Whose afraid of Santa contest’, and it won.”
There have been sentimental moments as well.
“Holding a baby that was just released from the hospital the day before is pretty special,” he said. “As was the 102-year-old woman who told me she still believes.”
Mrs. Claus recalled a 12-year-old boy looking at Santa from afar.
“Santa waved to him and he finally came up,” said Mrs. Claus. “He told Santa that he still believes, but that his friends do not. You should have seen the look on his face when Santa told the boy that his friends were going to get underwear for Christmas.”
Sometimes there are heartaches.
“The hardest part of my job is when kids ask for things that I cannot get for them,” Santa said. “That really hits me hard.”
Sometimes children ask him to heal a loved one who is sick or for a parent to return home.
“I try my best to explain that those are things that I cannot do,” he said. “But I always tell them that I can pray.”
Others ask for things like an elephant.
“That’s easy,” he laughed. “I tell them I cannot fit one into my sleigh.”
Both Santa and Mrs. Claus agree they have learned a lot from their job.
“There are a lot of good people in this world,” Mrs. Claus said. “Christmas brings out the best in everyone. It’s a very magical time of year.”
Believing in Santa
For those who do not believe, they have one message.
It is to get your believer fixed.
“Santa represents the joy and happiness of friends and family,” she said. “Why wouldn’t you want to be a part of that?”
Santa added, “To the scrooges out there, you’re missing out.”
When Christmas arrives, Santa has a message for everyone.
“Family is important,” he said. “So put away your cellphones and have a good time. Keep the spirit of Santa alive for the children. But also remember the reason for the season is the birth of Jesus. Have a merry Christmas.”