Real-Life Santa Spreads Christmas Joy in Hibbing
Posted at: 12/25/2012 7:45 AM
| Updated at: 12/25/2012 11:37 PM
By: Laurie Stribling
Christmas Day is usually spent with family, but one couple does something a little bit different. They spend most of December with other peoples' loved ones. Rick Kotula and his wife, Celeste, spend the holiday season visiting people in Hibbing dressed as Santa and a elf.
Rick has been dressing up as Santa for the past 28 years, and he's worn through five costumes. In December, you'll spot this couple at schools, parties and at the Guardian Angels Nursing Home.
"I always like to see Santa," James Aimonetti, who lives at the nursing home, said. "He always brings good presents."
Kotula volunteers his time to make these appearances, but he said it's a small sacrifice.
"It really makes that family more whole on Christmas," Kotula said. "I can just see it, and I enjoy it so much. It's like an adrenaline rush you wouldn't get any other way."
While he may not get paid for his work, he does get something in return.
"All their fun, all their excitement for Christmas, it fills my heart up to," Kotula said.