Robertson brings the holiday spirit to life by being Santa

For the past five years, Danny Robertson has been bringing the holiday spirit to life for local children and families by impersonating Santa Claus.
Robertson said it all started when he was shopping with his wife, Debra, at Bass Pro Shops around Christmas time, when he noticed a little girl watching him like a hawk.  
“If I walked behind some clothes, she’d move to where she could see me again. Pretty soon she goes into a dressing room with her mom, and she’s pulling the door shut while still watching me intensely, so I waved at her. They come out and the mom comes over to me and asks if I would sit down and talk to her daughter. I sit down at a display and she comes over and starts telling me the things she wants,” recalled Robertson. “It’s all about the kids and being able to interact with them.” Robertson said.  
He said roughly 56 children sat on his lap during the Red Oak Chamber and Industry Association holiday kick off on Friday, Nov. 26, followed by several more during Stanton’s holiday kick off on Saturday, Nov. 27. Robertson will next be at the Montgomery County Family YMCA in Red Oak between 1 and 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 12. He also does private individual and corporate events; keeping him relatively busy during the month of December.
Always sporting facial hair, Robertson said he starts to grow out his Santa beard July 1, but per an agreement with Debra, the day after Christmas the beard is to be gone.
“She prefers it to be short,” Robertson chuckled.
Debra, who made his Santa suit, also created him a matching toy bag.
“I almost always put on the suit at home before an event,” Robertson said.
He said rarely does a child pull on his beard because they can see it is real. He added the most common question he is asked is about the whereabouts of the reindeer.
“I tell them the reindeer are at the North Pole resting up for the big trip,” he said.
Danny has several funny stories about his encounters over the past several years, but can’t recall any sad ones.
“Our conversations are mostly just about what they want,” he said. “The ones that are the most fun are when I have a little background information about them. One year I remember I asked Mark Jackson and Ann Carder’s grandchildren if I was to leave the presents at Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Red Oak or at their home in Kansas City; their eyes got so big.”
He added he usually carries candycanes or peppermints with him after Thanksgiving each year; knowing he’ll be stopped when out and about.
“I usually have a pocketful of them for when I’m stopped at the store or in the parking lot,” Robertson said. ‘
He added he’s not looking to get rich by playing Santa, but rather help spread the spirit of Christmas and maybe pay for gas to get to the event and back. He charges $25 for an individual event and $50 for a corporate event. He can be reached at 712-621-2772.

The Red Oak Express

2012 Commerce Drive
P.O. Box 377
Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-623-2566 Fax: 712-623-2568

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