Donner and Blitzen, not to mention Comet and Cupid, or Dasher and Prancer, normally bring Santa to homes on Christmas Eve to deliver presents to good little girls and to good little boys. However, when Santa visited Carson City, he parked the reindeer and let reserve deputies drive him around as part of the Carson City Sheriff’s Office Christmas Eve Santa program. Reserve Deputy Homer Dagdagan was one of those deputies who made sure Santa was able to deliver Christmas cheer and presents to families across Carson City on Monday night.“We want to bring all the Christmas spirit to the kids,” he said.Dagdagan made sure Santa, who preferred to use his first name Nick, and his elf Joanna Holsclaw arrived unscathed to visit each family.Holsclaw is not one of Santa’s full-time elves. She does not live at the North Pole and refrains from the pointy-ear business. She is a Christmas Eve elf and has been so for the past four years. For each of those four years, Christmas Eve has been the one day a year most filled with joy and wonder.“It’s the best day of the year,” she said.Elf Holsclaw said she loves to see the wonder in children’s eyes when Santa shows up at the door.“When you see the little boy go, ‘oh, there is a Santa,’ there’s nothing better,” she said. “It’s all about the wonder.”Mackenzie, 9, was excited to see Santa, even though the heater was broken and she could feel herself beginning to get a little sick from being in the cold. Plumbers were working to get her heat back while Santa brought her and her parents candy canes and her present.For Mackenzie, Santa was just Santa. “He’s real,” she said. She saw Santa earlier this year on the Polar Express, and last year, he was at her church.Anthony, 6, said he thinks Santa is great.“I’m happy to see him,” he said, adding that the presents and Santa are what make Christmas the best.Santa may not have recalled Anthony from last year, but he did remember Hannah, who played the piano for him this year and last. Santa, however, was overjoyed when he realized the women he was talking to at Anthony’s house are Germans.“Sind Sie Deutsch?” he asked, before he and the German women sat down behind Hannah and belted out Silent Night together, in the original German. Santa, Anthony learned, is a man of many languages. Beverly Ashworth’s children were not at her home to enjoy the visit from Santa but her grand children and great-grandchildren were, although the young ones were scared by Santa’s white beard. Santa has been making home visits to Ashworth’s house on Christmas Eve for 30 years, she said. The program has been around for at least 40 years, Santa driver and Reserve Commander Tom Crawford said, noting that four decades ago, Carson City was a much smaller place.“Back when it was a small western capitol, (Santa’s visits) could be done very easily.” he said.Santa’s elves and Santa’s drivers all donate their time to help ferry Santa, to the various houses, which numbered 90 this year. Santa, of course, donates his own time, too.Santa and his helpers also managed to collect $2,200 for the reserves program.Most who call the Santa hotline, to request Santa visit their homes, are repeat callers, Crawford said, noting that 60 percent of the homes had been visited in years past. As the night wound down, Santa paid a visit to his driver Reserve Deputy Dagdagan’s home schmoozed with countless family members and friends before availing himself of the Filipino Christmas Eve dinner. Santa, who worked off countless calories delivering toys, had to loosen his belt before going on to make the rest of his wordily stops.
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