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Santa Claus is coming to town

By Jessica Rodrigo
Nov. 13, 2012 at 5:13 a.m.

Santa Claus rides into the Goliad’s courthouse square on a steer during Christmas in Goliad. After riding around the square in 2011, Mike Moore sat on a carriage with children to hear their Christmas wishes.

In Goliad, Santa Claus doesn't make an entrance with a reindeer-drawn sleigh. He makes his appearance Texas-style - holding the reins of long-horned steer.

Mike Moore, of Goliad, has played the role of Santa Claus for two years and shared his experience as Father Christmas with Golden Crescent Magazine.

What was it like the first time you played Santa Claus for Christmas in Goliad?

I started playing Santa for Christmas in Goliad two years ago. It was a marvelous time, since Christmas in Goliad is for the family and kids. It is always exciting riding the longhorn steer around the square to the sleigh they have set up - to see the kids' and adults' eyes light up as I ride around the square and the line of kids at the sleigh as I arrive. It is always a delight talking to the kids and what they would like for Christmas.

How did you get volunteered for the job?

I was helping the Historical Commission get ready for Christmas in Goliad, when I was asked if I would be Santa. I just couldn't turn it down. Goliad is very lucky to have Bil Montague, chairman of the Goliad Historical Commission, and Myra Heard who is in charge of Christmas in Goliad. There is a lot of work getting ready for the event and it takes all year to coordinate and two days to really set up for it.

When you're not playing Santa Claus for Christmas in Goliad, what can people find you doing?

I am semi-retired, but I do consulting and expert witness testimony involving criminal justice matters.

Is there any sort of preparation or rehearsal you do for being Santa Claus?

No rehearsal, it comes from the heart and the reward is the reactions of the kids.

What was the best thing you've ever been given during the holidays?

Playing Santa during Christmas in Goliad. It's wonderful!

What was the worst present you've ever received?

Don't know if I have ever received a worst present. The thought is really what it is about.

What was the story of Santa Claus you told your children?

Probably what everyone else tells their kids about Santa, but I made sure that my kids really did know the reason for the season. It is celebrating the birth of Christ and for them not to ever forget what that means as they get older and have their own children. Always believe that there is a Santa by spirit - no matter how old are you are.

How old were you when you discovered Santa Claus wasn't real?

I think I was about 6 years old. I just remember asking my dad about it and he just said, if you believe there is a Santa, there would always be a Santa. I was a little disappointed, but was raised to know what the real reason is for the season.

Is there any one thing you are looking forward to in 2013?

Watching and being with my family and grandkids, experiencing all that I can with them during special times like Christmas and being there for them when they need me. Life is wonderful in Goliad. If you get a chance, I ask all the readers, to come visit Goliad during Christmas in Goliad, from the lighted parade on Friday night and during the day Saturday. There is nothing like it anywhere and your families will make wonderful memories for a lifetime.

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