October 17, 2017

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories – Santa Claus

Did You Sit On This Santa’s Lap?

We had our very own Santa Claus in our family…my Grandpa Will Yates of Olympia, WA.  After he was retired he worked at Montgomery Ward in Olympia during the Christmas season as their Santa Claus. He was perfect (in my opinion) for the job because he had a naturally fat tummy, a perfect Santa-like nose and he loved kids.

If you had your picture taken with Santa at Montgomery Ward during the 1950’s It may have been my Grandpa. If you have pictures to share, I’d love to see them!

My personal story about Grandpa playing Santa will show you how savvy I was, even at a young age. My parents took me to “Monkey” Ward and had me sit on Santa’s lap to tell him what I wanted for Christmas. I had been sitting on that same lap for many years and I knew it was my grandpa. I never said a word that I knew it was him because I knew it would spoil it for the other kids.  I think my parent’s were pretty proud of me that kept “the secret”.

It wasn’t until about 10 years ago I found out that Grandpa’s first wife, Minnie Smith Yates liked to play Santa too.  I think it might have been when she lived in Missouri as a young woman, but my cousin Allene Moore Chapin told me that she remembered Grandma Minnie dressing up as Santa when she was a young girl.  It really gave me yet another view of my grandma and that she had a playful side.

I’m participating in the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2010 sponsored by Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers fame.  Won’t you join us as we blog about our memories through the month of December?

You might also like to read:

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2010: The Tree

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2010 – Holiday Foods

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2010 – Christmas Cards

[intlink id=”1912″ type=”post”]Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: Outdoor Decorations[/intlink]


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