Santa sees best, worst of times

Published 2:18 am Saturday, December 24, 2016

Santa’s helper, James Windham, said he heard a lot of requests for kids this year.

“Today, I heard about motorcycles, cars, puppies and some fishing poles,” he said while visiting with children at Bright Beginnings Preschool. “Now those who wanted a fishing pole, they were after my own heart.”

Windham became one of Santa’s elves 10 or 12 years ago, when he began collecting toys, then watching for the opportunity to be Santa for someone.

“I’ve surprised the heck out of a many an adult,” he said.

Christmas can be the best of times and the worst of times, he said. And it’s not all about toys.

He described plans to help a mom with Stage 4 cancer make her children’s Christmas merry this year. Another year, he helped a homeless man find shelter at Christmas. Last year he went to a home with the “saddest tree ever,” on Christmas day to the delight of two very small children.

“They sure jerked the heart right out of me,” he said.

Even though Christmas is a joyous time for most, Santa reminds area residents that there is still great need.

“Do something to help someone,” he said. “The way you’ll feel is the best gift you can give yourself.”