• 70°

Santa Claus is coming to town

LaGRANGE – The Daily News’ weekly Neighbors series features one person from LaGrange and the surrounding area. This week we sought out everyone’s favorite jolly old elf for some Christmas cheer before he gets down to business next weekend.

LaGrange Daily News: What is your favorite part about LaGrange?

Santa Claus: It’s the kids. A lot of the parents I like too, but I’m doing it for the kids mainly so that is where I put my work. I guess what it actually is family. I enjoy doing the family thing with families. That’s what it is good for. When I first started… I was very nervous when I first started. … But I love it, even with all that (nervousness), I still love it. I guess with my age too, I’m at the point in my life where I want to do more for other people. I work a lot with the (New Ventures) warming center. We volunteer with that. … We do the Christmas stuff with them. Get them toys, food – we get a lot of food for them – stuff like that. I mean, I’m not doing too bad for my considered age and the life that I’ve had, but I figure, hey, might as well pass it on to someone because I could have been in their shoes if I didn’t kind of jump out of it myself. My beginning was kind of like that, so I wanted to do it, so that’s what I do. I enjoy it now an awful lot. … I could do this for as long as I live. In fact, I probably will as long as I’m able.

LDN: What else do you enjoy about coming out to the square?

Claus: I get to meet a lot of people which I like to do. People in different places… I meet a lot of nice people and people who do a lot of (good) work – even more so than I do – and I like being around those kinds of people.

LDN: What is your favorite thing about Christmas?

Claus: The best part of my time for Christmas is stuff like this (where I talk to people) really. Although, my daughter  … The way we work we never have Christmas dinner on Christmas. This year we are going to have Christmas dinner on New Year’s because that’s the way she’s working but having a family get together (is great). … You get to a point where you really want family more than anything else.

LDN: What would you like to see more of in LaGrange?

Claus: I’d like to see more locations, more things for the homeless. We have a lot more homeless then people believe, and I’d like to see us get more space where we can do something for them instead of them being out in the street.

LDN: Is there anything you would like to say to the children of LaGrange?

Claus: What I want to tell them is to continue being good like they are, and to remember that we have a very short time in this life, and we need to make the best of it. You don’t want to waste it by doing things that are not good. … You want to treat others like you to be treated. If we all started doing that, we’d all be better off.

Santa Claus plans to spend some time on LaFayette Square Saturday – Christmas Eve –  between 1 and 4 p.m before he makes his big annual trip.

‘Neighbors’ is a weekly series by the Daily News that highlights community members. To nominate a person to be featured call 706-884-7311.