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Also Known as Mr. & Mrs. CLAUS

FLETCHER, FISHER

Posted By: Misty Christner (email)
Date: 6/19/2018 at 14:07:18

Source: Iowa Farmer Today 12/24/2004

Also Known as Mr. & Mrs. CLAUS
By Hannah Fletcher

KALONA - What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to spend December nights and weekends dressed as Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus?
Robert and Gladys Fisher have been passing out presents and riding in parades as the perky couple for seven years - long enough to be known by locals here as Mr. and Mrs. Claus year round.
"Sometimes, people see me and they say, 'Oh, there goes Mrs. Claus,'" Gladys says.
Robert began dressing up as Santa about eight years ago. Gladys usually went with him to the various special events or parades he attended.
"We kind of talked and I said, 'You ought to be Mrs. Claus,'" he said.
As Robert became known as a local Santa, the rental company where he was getting his suit insisted it was time he had a costume of his own. They helped him find one and he added details such as his belt of bells, a favorite with the kids.
Meanwhile, Gladys found a red shirt and skirt at Goodwill which she sewed white lace around the edges to add a feminine touch.
"I made my cap and my apron and that was kind of fun," she said.
Now, they frequent church and company Christmas parties as the famous couple.
The Fishers - Or, should we say the Clauses? - usually go to about seven events during the holidays, sometimes appearing at more than one per day.
"Sometimes, I think our social life is a little too busy," Robert said.
But, bringing joy to children is what keeps them lacing up their boots and wearing their red-and-white hats.
"It's kind of fun to see the eyes some children make at you," he said.
They enjoy the younger children whose wide eyes follow the Clauses as they "Ho, ho, ho" and "Merry Christmas" their way into a room.
Santa and Mrs. Claus know just how to handle their devotees.
Roberts says he usually asks if they have made their list. When they make their requests, he tells them, "We'll see," or "I'll try."
Occasionally, young children are frightened by Santa but the Clauses have a solution for that.
"If they won't sit on his lap, they'll sit on mine," Gladys said with a smile.
And, Mr. and Mrs. Claus can explain the reason for this season's snowy weather.
"I told them, 'You see this snow? I ordered that because my sleigh works better in the snow,'" Robert said with a twinkle in his eye.
The retired couple's double life as Mr. and Mrs. Claus keeps them busy.
"I always enjoyed being on the farm. But, I'm out on the pasture now. I'm done," he said.
The Fishers retired from farming in the 1990's, but they like to remain connected to agriculture
Robert helps transport Amish neighbors and their produce in the summer. And, the couple enjoys working together in their large garden.
Even with crops and cattle to tend to, winter could ordinarily be a slow time for Robert and Gladys. But, their calling to be the Clauses keeps them busy and happy during the holidays.
"If we weren't doing this, what would we be doing on these evenings," he said.
When Robert and Gladys aren't fulfilling their duties as Mr. and Mrs. Claus, they have other hobbies.
"She likes to bake cookies and I like to work in the shop," Robert says.
It's no wonder locals can't tell the Fishers apart from the Clauses.


 

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