GALLIPOLIS — The legendary gift-giver will be spending his last day in Gallipolis City Park on Tuesday before heading back off to the North Pole to finalize his sleigh routes across the world for Christmas Eve.
According to St. Nick, he has been sitting in the Santa House at the corner of State Street and Second Avenue since the Gallipolis Christmas Parade earlier this month. He has made a habit of waiting for the children of Gallia County in the house every day since then from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Whereas Claus makes a habit of visiting children worldwide, a Claus has sat in City Park during December for around 30 years. According to the man in red, he also makes appearances at the annual Gallipolis in Lights opening ceremony to help announce the beginning of the Gallia County Christmas season.
Before spending the afternoon in the park, Claus says that he will often visit local elementary schools and spend his evenings entertaining families at parties and other events. Mrs. Claus will accompany her husband to some events and share her singing talents with guests to get in spirit for Christmas Day. According to St. Nick, his wife has often disguised herself as a teaching specialist in Gallia County schools to continue spreading joy and good cheer for children. Mr. Claus mentioned he had once disguised himself as a member of the U.S. Air Force.
Santa said in his experience, this was a big year for children asking for puppies. He was not entirely certain as to why, but he noticed more children asking this year than previous ones. Star Wars items were also requested by lots of boys with the opening of the film “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” this month. Claus said big requests from the little ladies this season were princesses and gear from Disney’s 2013 “Frozen” film, as well as dolls from from the Monster High franchise.
According to Claus, there is no such thing as a bad child. They just need to be reminded of what is right every once in a while. He enjoys spending the month in Gallipolis speaking with Gallia County children and spreading happiness where he can.
For those children who have seen Santa in the park this year, he tells them a reindeer stepped on his feet accidentally as he has a pair of casts. Not to worry, though, as it will not stop him from doing his yearly duty flying about the world Christmas Eve.
Santa said the longest he had ever grown his beard was a bit below mid-chest, which would be roughly two feet long. He, at times, will stuff it in his shirt to move around a little easier as he steers his reindeer on cold nights.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.