Santa Claus Is Coming to Waco

Dec 1, 2017

There’s a time honored tradition of the Christmas season…Santa Claus.  Our Will Burney takes us behind the beard….

It’s that time of year again when Thanksgiving is done. The leftovers are finished, and it’s officially December. There’s no denying that Christmas time is here. Yep, That’s right. Santa Claus is headed to Waco. You can find him in the Waco Wonderland Parade and at the Feast for Families with Mrs. Claus. Santa is everywhere!

For this story I decided to go out and speak to these Santas, and Mrs Claus, to find out what it’s all about. Why there are so many Santas every year and why they don the part. The first Santa I spoke to made a point to tell me that HE IS SANTA CLAUS.

Santa: “No I don’t play Santa Claus. I am Santa Claus”

...and he really looks the part. His beard is real. He’ll let you have a tug to prove it. The belly is real too. I met him at the Craft Brew Shop he co-owns with his son and the only thing missing was the red suit.

Santa: “I can’t hide it… know it’s there, It’s as obvious if I had jewelry on the face or anything like that. For Me I’m Santa Claus 7 days a week 24 hours a day…Keep in mind I kind of set the scene too. I like wearing my western hat and I put a santa cap on top of my western hat and I walk around with that and I also walk around with my pocket full of candy canes so you know I kind of ask for it too.”

Apparently when you look the part as much as he does you’ll even get caught out in public doing normal things like buying beer. Fine for adults, but a Santa Fo Paux.

Santa: "One kid was in there in the cart with his father and he right away looked at me and said ‘Santa Claus do you drink beer?’

That’s right, Busted!

Santa: ...and so you have to be quick thinking so I said ‘No. This is for a gift’   and right away he turned around real loud, as loud as possible because everyone was around there listening to this. He turned around and looked at his Dad and said I know what you’re getting for Christmas”[Laughter]

The second Santa I talked to was a pair. A Mr. and Mrs. Claus. They are unassuming when not dressed as the part, but they’ve been making appearances for years. They enjoy the reactions they get but they use their role to help push kids to be better.

Mr. Claus: They get pretty honest with you and say some things. You know and again trying to get them to believe in something and Santa Claus is just one of those things at this time of the year to believe in something. Mainly believe in themselves.

Mrs. Claus: And most of the kids we’ve seen throughout the years we’ve watched form being babies all the way up to teenagers now because we’ve been doing it so long.  We know them by name practically when they come up so it’s nice to give them something that they can relate to that is the same year after year.  

Apparently when you begin appearing as Santa you become the Santa for the people you visit,

and it’s not just for the kids. It’s for everyone of all ages.

One of the things that the Santas I spoke to had in common was that being Santa is for more than just the kids. It’s for everyone.

Mr. Claus: “It brings joy to the kids as well as the adults. You’d be surprised that you would even have adults come up there and ask for things from Santa Claus as well as the kids and everybody believes in something and Santa Claus is one of those things most people will believe in and it just brought joy to listen to these kids and listen to folks asking for something.

Santa: “The idea of it is..Santa Claus Represents a wonderful time of the year. It’s when everyone ..Everyone’s happy”

Santa is about believing in something bigger than ourselves and giving us a reason to spread a little Christmas cheer to everyone. So sit on Santa’s lap this year, and earnestly tell him what you want because no one is too old to believe in Santa Claus.

For KWBU I’m Will Burney