Spreading the Holiday Cheer
November 25th, 2015 by Craig Reed
 Dale Johnson dons his red coat and white-trimmed hat to bring a little holiday cheer each year to residents of the Sutherlin, Oregon, area. Don and his wife, Margie, as Mrs. Claus, are regulars at the Sutherlin Chrismas Festival.They also attend the local tree lighting ceremony, walking around and giving out candy canes. They attend some business events, and have visited assisted living facilities, where they try to lift the spirits of older people and shut-ins.


Dale Johnson dons his red coat and white-trimmed hat to bring a little holiday cheer each year to residents of the Sutherlin, Oregon, area.
Don and his wife, Margie, as Mrs. Claus, are regulars at the Sutherlin Chrismas Festival.They also attend the local tree lighting ceremony, walking around and giving out candy canes. They attend some business events, and have visited assisted living facilities, where they try to lift the spirits of older people and shut-ins.

Santa Claus wants to make every visit special, whether it is a child or someone older sitting on his knee.

Dale Johnson of Sutherlin, Oregon, has been playing the jolly old Christmas icon and creating special moments for nine years.

Sitting next to him at events throughout the holiday seasons has been Mrs. Claus—Margie, Dale’s wife of 34 years.

Through the years, Mr. and Mrs. Claus have greeted many kids—and others up to those in their 90s—listening to their requests and concerns. They also have provided words of cheer, trying to lift spirits during these times of Christmas celebration.

“It’s our gift,” says Margie. “If anybody needs us, wants us, we’ll go be Mr. and Mrs. Claus for them. It’s our gift to them.”

“I enjoy the kids,” says Dale.

Dale admits he initially was not sure how kids would react to him and how he would respond to their requests. But he has become familiar with the role and looks forward to each holiday season.

“I never know what kids are going to ask for,” Dale says. “Most ask for a doll or a truck. I don’t promise anything, I just say I’ll do the best I can.”

“You don’t want the parents mad at you,” Margie adds.

The couple say most of the kids don’t ask for anything big, but there was once a request from a little girl for a striped cat because her cat had been run over. Another child wanted a horse, and another proceeded to show Santa a long list of gifts, where to buy them and how much they were going to cost.

“I think we get more out of doing this than the kids,” says Margie.