MONONGAH, W.Va. – This year, the mayor of Monongah took on a different role this holiday season by filling the shoes of Saint Nicholas.
Mayor John Palmer and his sister dressed up as Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus to share the spirit of the Christmas season with the children in-person; not through a piece of plexiglass.
“We just thought what better way, if someone wants us to come to their house or a party or whatever, just set up times, and we’ll go over and spread some Christmas cheer,” said Mayor Palmer.
Palmer set up FaceTime calls, zoom calls, house visits, and set up “Santa’s Workshop” at the town hall so every child had a chance to see Santa this year. Mayor Palmer made sure to stop by one particular families home who faced a serious tragedy this December.
“We had a house here in Monongah burn down, and the kids were really upset because they were living with their grandparents, and they kept thinking Santa wasn’t going to be able to find them,” said Mayor Palmer. “We dressed up one day and went over there just to let them know, Santa knows where they are no matter if they’re at their house or whose house, and they were pretty excited.”
Mayor Palmer said the excitement on every child’s face when they saw the Claus’s walk in, made it all worth it.
“This was just a way to you know, give them a little bit of normalcy back to their life. We did our parade here in Monongah, the Christmas parade. Instead of doing our normal route through the main street, we tried to hit every street, just so the older generation, and people who couldn’t get out of their house could at least, enjoy it from their window,” said Mayor Palmer.
Mayor Palmer picked up the nickname “Mayor Santa” after this holiday season, and Palmer, or Mayor Santa said that if he has to do this every year for the children, he is up for the task.