Mrs. Claus spreads holiday magic
Written by TARA KELLER Sentinel Staff Writer
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 10:23
Kathy East thinks she has one of the most magical jobs of all - she's Mrs. Claus.
|Children listen as Mrs. Claus reads them children stories Saturday morning at the Wood County Public Library. (Photo: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
The former Wood County District Public Library children's librarian has spent her four and half years of retirement dressing up as Santa's better half.
It's a job she took on for kids and herself.
"It's special for them to see Mrs. Claus," she said. "But it's also pretty special for me."
After her husband surprised her by dressing up as Santa for a staff holiday lunch a few years ago, East went on eBay to get a costume for herself.
Ever since, the magic has stuck. East has been in the Bowling Green Holiday Parade and visits community centers around Wood County as Mrs. Claus.
One her favorite places to visit is the Wood County library.
On Saturday, she visited with about 48 kids and grown-ups, read them some stories, and helped them make a glittery craft.
"We had a lot of fun. It was especially exciting because it was snowing and it made it that more magical," East said. "We were pleased with the turnout."
Mike Loera and his daughters Marley Rose, 6, and Stella Angel, 5, braved the snowfall to listen to Mrs. Claus' stories.
"They love the library. We come about once a week," Loera said. "We heard she was coming and the girls got so excited."
The Loera girls dressed up for the occasion and told Mrs. Claus about their early Christmas present - a baby brother named Drake.
Talking to children about things like new siblings and sparkly outfits is something East looks forward to the most.
"I ask them if they've been good all year or just lately," East said. "They tell me what they want for Christmas and ask me how I got here."
While she was at the library, East told the kids she came in her "PT Sleigh."
"Nobody asked if it was on the roof," East said. "Some of them might have tried to check."
After checking out Mrs. Claus' PT Sleigh, children's librarian Maria Simon helped the kids check out some books too.
After all, reading is one of Mrs. Claus' favorite things to do.
"She really imparts the importance of reading," Simon said. "The kids understand the gift of a book under the tree is special."
Connecting reading with the magic of Christmas is a big reason why Katy Zimmerman brought her two sons, Oliver, 2, and Elijah, 4, to meet Mrs. Claus.
"We read with them every night and it sets the foundation for loving to read later in life," Zimmerman said. "We like to get all snuggly on the couch and read stories."
The library was just one stop on East's list as she planned to visit her neighborhood and the Walbridge Library to read to the kids there.
She knows being Mrs. Claus will never get old.
"Being Mrs. Claus gives me my kid-fix." East said. "Seeing parents wanting to bring their kids to see me just adds to the magic."
For more information about the Wood County District Public Library's upcoming holiday events, please visit wcdpl.org or call 419-352-5104.