With temperatures hovering at -20 on the North Pole right now, it’s no wonder that Santa and Mrs. Claus choose to spend part of winter in Liberty County, Texas.
“It’s a bit cold at the North Pole right now. We are having trouble keeping the carrots for the reindeer from freezing. We are doing a good job of keeping the stables warm,” said Santa Claus, who goes by the alias of Bill Baker.
Santa and Mrs. Claus, also known as Pat, have a home in Plum Grove they illuminate every year with hundreds of Christmas decorations. The home, located at 3387 FM 1010, is referred to by local children as Santa’s House, according to Bill.
“The Clauses” invite anyone who wants to see the decorations to stop by any evening. This year they have added nine illuminated reindeer, a stable and more Minions, and now have 55 inflatable decorations, including a large Christmas tree.
When asked if they have ever counted the strings of lights they use, Santa laughed.
“On the Great Christmas Light Fight TV show, I know they count the lights. I did it once but then I thought, ‘This is silly.’ We just have a lot of lights,” he said. “Every year we add more to it. In fact, we are adding new things every day when we aren’t busy with Christmas.”
Children in the area are accustomed to seeing the white-bearded Santa year-round, working in his yard or on the displays. They also put up a Halloween display every year.
“The kids see Santa when they are riding to school on the bus. They see him all the time, not just at Christmas,” Mrs. Claus said. “These other places have light shows but we have Santa and Mrs. Claus.”
Regarding the large amount of time they spend in Texas, Santa has an explanation.
“It’s very important that I do naughty or nice check-ups year-round. That’s a very important part of my job. Are they being good and doing what their parents asked? Are they practicing kindness and saying their prayers?” he said. “This is just one of the many places I have to visit.”
With such a demanding schedule, he explained the need for stand-in Santas, including those who are part of the Lone Star Santas, anon-profit organization of people who portray Santa, Mrs. Claus, elves and helpers.
“There are 300 of them. At this time of year, they are my helpers and they make visits to places I can’t get to,” he said. “They are allover Texas. Children, you better be on your best behavior because you never know when you will run into one of my helpers.”
There is no charge to visit Santa’s House in Plum Grove.Just pull into the driveway and walk through the displays. Guests are asked to be respectful of Santa’s house during the visits.
“You may see Santa and Mrs. Claus, but we can’t guarantee when we will be home because it’s our busiest time of the year,” she said.
Anyone who wants to email Santa, should send the email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Vanesa Brashier, email@example.com