EVERYONE KNOWS SANTA IS VERY BUSY THIS TIME OF YEAR UP AT THE NORTH POLE MAKING HIS LIST AND CHECKING IT TWICE.
THAT'S WHY HE RECRUITS HELPERS TO MAKE SURE ALL THE GOOD GIRLS AND BOYS GET THEIR TOYS WAY DOWN HERE IN TEXOMA.
WE RECENTLY VISITED ONE OF THOSE BUSY HELPERS TO AWARD HIM WITH THIS MONTH'S SPIRIT OF TEXOMA AWARD FOR MAKING THE SEASON BRIGHT FOR SO MANY.
IT MAY BE WEEKS FROM CHRISTMAS EVE BUT MANY OF DOUG GREEN'S BUSY DAYS START AT 7 AM AND END ABOUT MIDNIGHT.
Doug Green says, "Depending on the situation we may have to change suits a couple of times, three times in a day."
HIS WIFE GLENDA, WHO ALSO GOES BY MRS. CLAUS, SEWS THE FUR ONTO EVERY ONE OF THOSE BACKUP SUITS WITH LOVE AND CARE.
A GOOD HELPER NEEDS ALL OF THEM WHEN IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS.
GREEN FILLS IN FOR SANTA NEARLY 90 TIMES EACH SEASON...AND HE SAYS THERE ARE ALOT OF PERKS TO THIS JOB.
Green comments, "The smiles, the hugs and the grins...that's what it is all about. To make a memory in a child's mind."
FOR 22 YEARS NOW THIS SANTA STAND-IN HAS BEEN MAKING THE LOCAL ROUNDS WHEN HIS BOSS IS TOO BUSY TO TRAVEL.
FROM WAVING FROM PARADE FLOATS AND ROLLING IN FIRETRUCKS TO PREPARING FOR THE BIG NIGHT FLIGHT AND LANDING AT SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE.
HE IS THE MAN OF THE HOUR AT THE ARC CHRISTMAS PARTY AND VISITS SCHOOL AFTER SCHOOL DELIVERING HOLIDAY CHEER AND UNWRAPPING HAPPINESS.
Green says, "It is one of the greatest feelings in the World to watch someone smile and know that you had a little bit to do with it."
NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES EACH HOLIDAY SEASON HE ASKS WHAT KIDS WANT FOR CHRISTMAS AND WHETHER THEY'VE BEEN NICE, HE SAYS EACH CHRISTMAS IS AS GOOD AS THE FIRST.
Green says, "All the money we make playing and everything playing Santa and the benefit we do out at the Elks Lodge on Nov. 5th...all of this buys toys."
ONCE THE WISH LISTS ARE COMPLETE, IT'S MRS. CLAUS'S JOB TO MAKE THEM COME TRUE.
Green comments,"We have gone as far as Dallas or OKC to pick up a special toy, that we couldn't find local."
ONCE THE BIG RED BAG IS LOADED THE CLAUSES ARE OFF TO THE CHILDREN'S HOME AND TEEN SHELTER FOR A SPECIAL CHRISTMAS EVE SURPRISE.
Green says, "We had a little boy here a few years ago that was about five or six years old and the more he opened, the more he excited he got and he finally jumped up and said I got everything I wanted for Christmas, everything that means a lot."
AND IT ALSO MEANS A LOT TO THE CHILDREN, WHO OTHERWISE MIGHT NOT HAVE ANY CHRISTMAS MOMENTS AND MEMORIES TO LOOK BACK ON.
Green says, "To be able to give them something that they can carry with them, that is theirs it gives them a little bit of home type deal, something that belongs to them, you know something they can care for. I don't think I have ever had anything give me more joy in life.
AFTER ALL THESE YEARS IT WOULD BE HARD TO MEASURE HOW MUCH JOY DOUG HAS GIVEN TO OTHERS.
THIS SECOND GENERATION SANTA WHO TRULY HAS THE SPIRIT OF TEXOMA PLANS TO CONTINUE TO PLAY THE MAN IN THE FURRY RED SUIT FOR MANY YEARS TO COME.
YOU CAN HELP THEM MAKE MORE OF THESE MEMORIES AT A NIGHT FOR SANTA BENEFIT ON NOVEMBER 5--TH.
DOORS WILL OPEN AT 6 AT THE ELKS LODGE ON SEYMOUR HIGHWAY.
THE NIGHT WILL INCLUDE DINNER, LIVE AND SILENT AUCTIONS AND MUSIC.
IF YOU HAVE ITEMS YOU WOULD LIKE TO DONATE FOR THE AUCTIONS, PLEASE CALL DOUG OR GLENDA GREEN AT 569-4149.
OWENS AND BRUMLEY FUNERAL HOMES CONGRATULATE DOUG FOR OVER TWENTY YEARS OF BRINGING CHRISTMAS CHEER.