Houston Texas resident Tyre Oliphant is a third generation Santa and has held this well-suited job for 20 years. Oliphant, with his jovial personality oversized tummy, and snow-white beard, has been in the business long enough to bring joy to second generation of Santa followers.
The first time he played Santa was as a joke on a plane from Houston to Dallas (where he then lived) to see his family. The way that he started his role as Santa was when his daughter was a baby, he and his wife took her to a mall to see Santa. 'The mall Santa told me that because of my Santa traits, I would make a good one," he says. "He connected me with the guy at the mall who hired Santas and the next year I was in the Santa chair".
"When I walk out as Santa before 500 kids, the love that hits you is overpowering. To feel the love is incredible"
On his first day as Santa, he asked a little girl what she wanted for Christmas and in the process, asked who he thought was a nearby older sister, what she wanted for Christmas. It turned out that the older child was an exchange student who would not return home until the end of the school year and whose grandmother was in the hospital with very little hope to live. The exchange student asked if I could make her grandmother live forever," he shares. "Right there in the craziness of the mall, I replied 'I can pray with you about it.' When we finished praying, she had a smile on her face and had tears coming down her cheeks. She had hope, and that's all I could give her and that was my intro to Santa"
Being Santa Claus is one of the greatest jobs to have, because "Children will tell Santa everything."
The most important thing is patience. Santa gets to hear children's whishes or their worst nightmares.
Children might forget to tell him something and sometimes they come back two or three times.
A child might have been standing in line an hour in anticipation, or a child might be frightened of Santa.