15 minutes with … Santa | PostIndependent.com

15 minutes with … Santa

Timekeeper: Stina SeiegGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Age: 1,711 (in Santa Years)Hometown: North Pole (or Brooklyn, New York)Occupation: Full-time Santa. My objective is to visit children who are terminally ill. I will visit them year round. That’s my goal.What made you want to become a Santa? I had a soccer team of children in Westminster, ages 7-9, and they didn’t have a Santa, so I became theirs. And word got around. The legend grew, and I kept getting more and more requests. I have over 1,600 appearances now.What keeps you going as Santa, day after day? The love, the joy, the smiles. The ability to make a child or an adult smile when I walk into the room. Santa’s main goal is unconditional love. In a world where everyone is judged on who they are, or how they act, or what they have, Santa transcends all that.My second driving force is that the world has lost sight of why we celebrate Christmas. I’m a Santa who can tell you of how Saint Nicholas came to be, what he did, and why it caught on.What did you want to be when you grew up? Probably a basketball player. Then I thought my career vocation would be working on Wall Street. I haven’t grown up yet. What are you going to do in Glenwood Springs? We have a whole agenda after lunch is over tomorrow. We’re going to the hospital, the nursing home and a home for troubled teens.I just love to go hug people and have a good time. For me, it’s all about smiles, the joy I bring people.What’s the first thing you’d do if you won the lottery? I would probably give most of it away. There is no doubt I’d give most of it away.If it were personally me, I’d set up a home for ex-offenders, just recently out of the system. This has been my vision since 1994.What do you do in your spare time? For the last two years, my wife and I have been raising two grandkids. They’re developmentally disabled, and I was completely responsible for their care. I’m very involved with my grandchildren.What’s the best advice Santa can give? Love your family. Cherish what’s dear to you. Just give – until you can’t give anymore. FavoritesMovie: “The Ten Commandments” (the original version) and “The Miracle of 34th Street”Article: “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” by Francis Church, printed in the New York Sun in 1898Favorite place in Colorado: Children’s homesFavorite food: Milk and cookiesNote: Santa will be appearing today, from 9-11 a.m. at Duir Designs, 20 Market St. in Glenwood Meadows. His appearance is sponsored by Duir Designs, Great Clips, HealthStyles Fitness and Starbucks.

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