"Are You Santa Claus!?"
I wasn't expecting the little boy’s question that afternoon in 2005 as my wife, Julia, and I were having lunch in a local restaurant. But after a pause, I knew the correct answer. "Yes, I am. Mrs. Claus and I are checking which children are naughty or nice. I see you're nice, and I see your sister – is she nice too?" He nodded that she was.
Thus began my new life as Blue Ridge Santa, and I haven’t turned back. My calling is to bring happiness and wonder to children while sharing in their – and their parents’ – excitement during the amazing time of Christmas.
Blue Ridge Santa is Sam Simmons of Sparta, NC. He and his wife, Julia, (Mrs. Claus) have lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina since 2007. Santa Sam has attended many Santa seminars and schools, and has now achieved the status of a professional Santa Claus Mrs. Claus has also attended many classes and seminars to enrich her role. Their backgrounds as health care professionals add depth to their understanding of children and families.
Santa's year-round mission includes visiting life-challenged children, for example at Camp New Hope in Glendale Springs, NC.