To sum up the reason for his 20-plus years of playing Santa Claus, Owen Crockett tells of a statuette on display inside his Declo home.
It’s a figurine of Santa, hat removed and held in his hands, humbly kneeling next to the swaddled baby Jesus.
“The biggest thing is being able to serve other people and being a helping hand to people who need help,” says Owen, whose Christian faith motivates him to annually take on the Santa Claus persona.
Santa isn’t alone – Loretta Crockett dresses as Mrs. Claus and joins her husband as they perform the charity work, making deliveries and other appearances. Any money they might earn from playing Mr. and Mrs. Claus is given away to people in need.
“It’s about being happy and loving it. It’s a part of us,” says Owen. “It’s about being in the service of your fellow man. We love being able to be Santa Claus and being able to help people. It’s the spirit of the whole thing.”
When Owen started his Santa gig more than two decades ago, he used a fake beard. About six years ago he tried the real thing. He began growing a beard in October that year, but by Christmas time it wasn’t long enough. So now he stops shaving in July. Loretta, who has sewn two Santa suits over the years, helps him bleach the beard to make it snowy white.
“I actually prefer to be clean shaven,” Owen laughs, adding that he can’t wait until Christmas Eve when he can finally shave the beard.
The weeks prior to Christmas, “Santa” is often spotted in his street clothes at the store. Curious children approach him and ask, “Are you…?”
“Yes I am.”
The Crocketts, aka Mr. and Mrs. Claus, try to stay away from doing department stores and other commercial-type appearances. Instead, they prefer family parties, special personal deliveries and other intimate settings where they can enjoy the joyous tears and surprise on people’s faces.
Their biggest delight is seeing the happiness and sparkle in people’s eyes – and sometimes it’s not only the children. Recently at Wal-Mart, Owen saw a woman in a wheelchair, their eyes met, he smiled at her, and a special sparkle came to the woman’s eye.
“Wherever you go there’s people who look at me and they kind of chuckle under their breath. I love it,” Owen says. “I love the people, I love the kids. It’s a real happy situation.”
If you’d like to book Santa Claus for your event please contact Owen Crockett at: 208-654-2913