NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Heads up, there's only 151 days 'til Christmas. We know. It's way too early for a countdown. Not to Santa, though.
Mr. and Mrs. Claus showed up at a Christmas in July celebration in Nacogdoches. The couple has been very busy.
"You got a red sucker," Mrs. Claus cheerfully said to a child.
Even in July, kids know what to do when they sit on Santa's lap.
A little boy named Sam looked into the camera and said, "Cheese."
And Santa always allows adults to be a kid again.
"This is fun. It's really Santa," said an exuberant shopper.
Santa, who was in Bermuda shorts, and Mrs. Claus, who was in a matching Hawaiian shirt, casually dressed for a stop at the Hospice of East Texas Christmas in July event. Sometimes, they go by David and Carol Stanley.
"Thank you for coming," said the soft-spoken Santa to a very shy little girl.
By little Arson's look, perhaps, the Clauses should have stayed at the North Pole. Instead, the Lone Star Santa members spread goodwill all year long.
"We went to the Veterans Hospital, to the Texas Children's Hospital, and to three special needs foster homes where we gave out stuffed animals to the children," David said.
They also comforted hurricane victims.
Before that, the Stanleys attended Santa conventions with hundreds of Santas in San Antonio and Denver. Santa got a new toy.
"The elves at the North Pole developed a naughty or nice scanner. And let me see if I can get it to come up here," Santa said as he began to ponder the mobile device.
"They even teach Mrs. Clauses how to keep his beard, his hair. He's kinda high maintenance sometimes," Carol said.
Santa continues to look blankly at his phone listening to strange recordings come from its speaker.
The Christmas bargains at Hospice of East Texas will last into next week.
Santa, never showing frustration about a mobile app said, "I paid $2, so I wouldn't get the commercials, and all I'm getting are commercials."
Well, Christmas is pretty commercialized. Lone Star Santas try to keep the true reason for the season before the public as often as they can.
Finally, the app recording says, "Welcome back to my naughty or nice scanner."
Santa didn't even have to tell the next youngster to press the screen.
"You're experienced. Have you done this before?" he asked.
On Saturday, Carol Stanley will appear as Mrs. Claus from noon to 2 p.m. at The Mustard Seed on University Drive in Nacogdoches to read books to children.