For two months of the year, Houston aircraft mechanic Lance McLean trades in his coveralls at the end of the day for a red Santa suit.
This year, McLean will don the suit 49 times, beginning Saturday. Twenty-nine of those events will be held at Houston public libraries.
“My ex-wife thought I’d make a good Santa Claus, so she started researching it back in 2007,” McLean, 57, said. “I’d played Santa for a friend at his church, so I knew what to expect.”
Internet research led to Lone Star Santas, a local nonprofit based in Cypress. The group includes some 350 Santa Clauses, Mrs. Clauses and elves who work throughout Texas. Members network, socialize and organize special events for disaster-stricken areas.
“Once you play Santa Claus, you fall in love with it,” said Jim Fletcher, who co-founded the group in 2007. “Not many people can walk into a room and brighten it up like Santa Claus.”
I’ve written about the Lone Star Santas before. They’re a cool group, even if their website hasn’t had a style update since their founding in 2007. As it happens, I have a coworker now who does Santa stuff on the side. This is a busy time of year for him, as you might guess. I don’t really have any point to make here, I just figured we could use a little Santa right about now.