“You have to have a basic working knowledge because you never know what a child is going to ask you,” he said. “Like ‘What’s your name?’ ‘Santa Clause.’ ‘What was your mom and dad’s name?’ ‘Mr. and Mrs. Claus.’”
His favorite part about visits is the look of wonder in a child’s eyes the moment they see Santa. Mrs. Claus, Opa Claus’ wife, said she likes being a part of that magic, too.
“The best thing in life is just to see that look in a kid’s eye,” Mrs. Claus said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re the parent, the grandparent, an aunt or whatever — just that amazement and the wonder and just the magic — I think that’s what everybody should strive to see every day.”
Unfortunately, Opa Claus said visits with children aren’t always feel-good moments. And though he wishes he could say yes to everything on all children’s wish-lists, some heartbreaking stories are too much for even Santa to fix.
“It’s not all happy times because I know I’m going to hear some terrible things, but they’re just children. They’re going to be honest and you have to try to comfort them and help them through that moment and help them to see what I’m standing for and it’s those three things again,” Opa Claus said referring to love, joy and kindness.
Once the season winds down, Opa Claus said he hopes he won’t feel too depressed waiting for Christmas to come back around next year. His ultimate dream would be to have Christmas all year round.
“It’s sad to me that Santa is only recognized for four weeks out of the year because really what he embodies is what we should strive for every day,” Opa Claus said.