When it comes to being Santa Claus, Dodd Greer does more than just sit and look merry. When he ho-ho-ho’s at private parties, he brings hand bells and helps the kids play Christmas songs. And while some Santas stick to the traditional garb, Dodd often wears a Santa’s workshop get-up — he even has a Scottish kilt he wears when he is “McSanta.”
DAY JOB: I work for Community Health Connect, a non-profit that helps those without insurance or resources see medical specialists.
STAPLE SANTA GIGS: Every year I kick off the Festival of Trees, and this year I will be at The Shops at Riverwoods. I do a lot of charity events as well as company and family parties. My favorite gig is a multiple family party where grandparents invite their kids and their grandkids over. One of my favorite events is at the Petersen Family Farm in Riverton. They do a sleigh ride that brings the families into a little Christmas market and they have a stable and manger where I get to tell them the story of Christ’s birth. I’m known as “Old Farmer St. Nick” there, and the ambiance they have created is amazing.
“One year a little boy said to me: ‘I don’t want anything for Christmas this year because we don’t have much money, but would you bring my little brother something?’ That experience has stuck with me.” — Santa Dodd
WINNING OVER A NERVOUS CHILD: If a child is scared I always tell them they can just stand beside me or they can sit on their mom’s lap next to me. And whenever I see a little kid with glasses, I ask them to hold my glasses and try them on. Then I try their glasses on and they think it is hilarious.
BEST KID QUOTE: One year a little boy said to me: “I don’t want anything for Christmas this year because we don’t have much money, but would you bring my little brother something?” That experience has stuck with me.
“YOU’RE NOT THE REAL SANTA!”: Whenever a kid tells me that I say, “You are right, but I’m the best helper he ever had.”
GREETINGS FROM THE NORTH POLE: My wife and I love to vacation in Alaska. We always take postcards with us for our dyed-in-the-wool Santa fans so we can get them stamped from “The North Pole,” also known as Anchorage, Alaska.