A fifteen years or so ago, Mr and Mrs Smith (not their real names) found time weighed heavily on them around the holidays. Especially since their children were long time grown and had started family's of their own, and now even the grandchildren weren't so little anymore. And they missed the kids being small.
Then Mr Smith grew a beard, and people started saying how much he looked like Santa. That gave them an idea, a marvels, wonderful idea. Mrs. Smith went right to work, she was a wonder with a needle and thread. She sewed two costumes; a Mr Claus one for her husband complete with Santa hat with bells down one side, and a darling Mrs Claus one for herself complete with a red and white muffin cap that echoed Mr Claus hat.
They started by visiting the kids in the neighborhood, then they touring the stores and shops. They got invited to Christmas party's, and kids flocked to them where ever they went. They were a huge success, and they loved it. They became a staple of Christmas in Madera every Holiday season. People wanted to know where the Claus's would be, so they could take their kids to see them.
I remember taking my nephew to visit them at Wal-mart, and Mrs Claus gave him a candy cane after he was too scared to tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas. I told them how darling they looked in their costumes, and they told me how much they loved doing this every year. My own daughter got to met them too, but she doesn't remember them now, as she was very young.
After nine years (or so) the saddest thing happened, Mr Smith had a stoke and didn't make it.
I heard they were looking around for someone to play Mr Claus with Mrs Smith. But poor Mrs Smith said that she didn't want to do it anymore, because there were too many sad memories.
And sadly so passed a sweet tradition in my home town.