Dauphin County couple offering reverse Santa visit

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LOWER PAXTOWN TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — A Dauphin County couple is giving children another crack at Christmas, despite pandemic restrictions.

“Kids today — with no other year involved — need normalcy,” said Kenneth Hostler, the Lower Paxton Santa Claus.

Kenneth and his wife, Tammy Hostler, are opening up their porch to families who want to take photos with Santa. He’s been doing it for the past 38 years, starting at age 18 when he was overseas for the military.

“We needed a Santa Claus and they just chose me. My first year was gluing cotton balls on my face, because we couldn’t have beards,” Kenneth said.

Now, he has a full beard and heart, with Mrs. Claus by his side.

“Santa is the reason we are together,” Tammy said.

The Hostlers worked together, but the stars didn’t align for the couple until a Christmas a little over a decade ago.

“I was lucky enough to get chosen to be an elf to go down to deliver gifts to a nursing home with him, and that’s when I knew,” Tammy said.

Years later, the couple — as thick as Christmas cocoa — had a shared idea. If Christmas events were being canceled, kids could come to their house to take pictures. So, they made a call to action to the community.

“They’re gonna know — for just a brief moment, time stopped and they were able to see Santa,” Kenneth said.

The couple posted their offer on Facebook, and within a couple hours their inbox was filled.

“We’re up to 35 now — appointments, with another 16 that I’m working with,” Tammy said.

“These children need something, and if we don’t do it, then shame on us,” Kenneth said.

The Hostlers will be scheduling visits between Dec. 12 through Dec. 23. For more information, you can PM Mrs. Claus on Facebook, here.

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