Santa Claus sticks around mid-Missouri

4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago Wednesday, December 25 2019 Dec 25, 2019 Wednesday, December 25, 2019 7:15:00 PM CST December 25, 2019 in News
By: Austin Walker, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

HOLTS SUMMIT - Joe Baker has portrayed the role of Santa Claus in mid-Missouri for the last 30 years.

"I love every minute of it," Baker said.

Baker said he worked a behind-the-desk job three days a week, but that wasn't enough.

"One day My wife came home and said you look bored," Baker said. "It was a Monday afternoon and I'll never forget that day."

That night, Baker looked through a JCPenney Christmas catalogue and found a Santa suit. Baker said he had the idea to be Santa Claus.

"I asked my wife to go get my the Santa suit." Baker said.

Baker's wife, who now plays Mrs. Claus, worked at Walmart and suggested he play Santa at the store. Baker talked to the store manager and they worked out a deal. He said for four nights a week, he'd come be Santa.

"We would charge five or six dollars a picture and we would donate that money to the Children's Miracle Network," Baker said.

Baker said he is always spotted at Santa walking around Holts Summit because of his appearance. 

"I’ve got the big red belly, it does jiggle a little bit, it’s not Jello though because Santa likes to eat, Baker said. "I also have a white beard everyday. 

"I go to Break Time in Holts Summit and they always yell for Santa," Baker said.

Baker said he has a lot of favorite memories, but his most favorite is when he delivered toys to two children, Suzie and Charlie, at their home.

"A grandmother came up to me and asked if I'd come and deliver toys to her grandkids who had never celebrated Christmas," Baker said. "I showed up to the front door with my big red bag, and rang the doorbell. Charlie answered the door and slammed it in my face." 

Baker said after coming in the door, the kids were still hesitant. But after the kids got their gifts, he saw their hearts change.

"Little Suzie had tears in her eyes," Baker said. "She never knew a stranger could care about her so much."

Baker said the reason he loves being Santa Claus, is the community impact he gets to make.

"You know, you've had the little memories and then you have the big memories. I don't care if you’re 3 days old, or you are 106. I don't care how old you are, I’m not prejudiced, who you are or what color you are, if you can smile, Santa can make you smile," Baker said.

Baker said he doesn't know if he will ever hang up the red coat because it's something he loves doing all the time.

"Sometimes I walk around Walmart and give quarters out to kids," Baker said. "It's funny because it makes them be good."

Baker said if you are ever looking for him, never ask for his name.

"Just go up to anyone and ask if you've seen Santa," Baker said.  

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri will have a delayed start Friday due to weather, opening at 10 a.m. ... More >>
19 minutes ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 5:29:55 AM CST January 24, 2020 in News
BELLE - The Maries County Sheriff addressed concerned Belle residents Thursday after the town closed its police department earlier this... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 10:19:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
MID-MISSOURI - A multi-day storm system continues in central Missouri, reaching a crescendo Thursday night through Friday with snow accumulations... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 7:07:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in Weather
JEFFERSON CITY - After more than a year and a half of sitting empty, and with holes throughout, a Jefferson... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 6:16:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
ASHLAND - Winter weather brings more than just frosty temperatures. It brings the unexpected. Especially when parents and grandparents are... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 5:06:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - This winter has brought above-average levels of snow and ice to mid-Missouri, and now, crews across the... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 4:18:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
COLE COUNTY - Construction on Route 54 south of Jefferson City will begin on Monday, January 27. The project is... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 3:32:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is asking for the public's help in identifying a man accused of assault. The... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 2:42:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
A replat of property at the northwest corner of Cherry and Hitt streets to accommodate plans for a six-story... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 2:21:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Jim Lehrer, the retired PBS anchorman and a graduate of the MU School of Journalism, died Thursday... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 12:59:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Knight is objecting to a defense request for change of venue in... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 12:22:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Roy Blunt commended President Trump’s announcement that the Environmental Protection Agency has finalized its Waters of... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 12:16:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Thursday published new visa rules aimed at restricting “birth tourism,” in which women... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 11:15:00 AM CST January 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Too much rock salt on your driveway might hurt your yard in the spring. According to the... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 11:01:00 AM CST January 23, 2020 in News
SPRINGFIELD - The first untested sexual assault kits recorded through Missouri's SAFE Kits Initiative will be collected at the Springfield... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 10:50:00 AM CST January 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Lucky's Market has confirmed that the Columbia location will remain open as they begin closing various stores around... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 10:34:00 AM CST January 23, 2020 in News
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities Thursday moved to lock down three cities that are home to more than 18 million... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 9:56:00 AM CST January 23, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - 192 medical marijuana dispensary facilities will receive their licenses Thursday, according to the Department of Health and... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 9:06:00 AM CST January 23, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 32°
6am 31°
7am 31°
8am 32°
9am 32°