Portrait of Becki and Lenny Stratton

The real Becki and Lenny

From Becki and Lenny Stratton of A Notion to Quilt in Shelburne, Massachusetts, comes this story of how they became Santa and Mrs. Claus and keep the spirit of Christmas alive throughout the year.

Lenny and I began our identity of Santa and Mrs Claus professionally 3 years ago. It was something that Lenny grew into! Letting his beard grow and having white hair made a perfect image. His beard is now registered with the International Association for Real Bearded Santas and has a number! Our lives have been full and blessed. Our grandchildren look at us with a questioning eye! I never would have guessed that this was where we were headed but believe that things happen for a reason.

We attended School 4 Santa two years ago. I must admit I was a bit skeptical and took my machine and several projects with me, sure I would just listen a little and then return to our room to sew! We were immersed in the history, dress, mannerisms, proper protocol and met others with the same passion and interest. It was extremely interesting and we thoroughly enjoyed the training. We came home with our certificates and energized and began to make a plan to become more than the occasional Santa. It seemed to be our destiny.

Becki and Lenny Stratton dressed up as Santa and Mrs Claus

Santa and Mrs. Claus

Last year we officially became Santa & Mrs. Claus. We volunteered for local organizations including the Shriners, Masons, and Kiwanis and for friends and family. We have been involved in a commercial, and on the news several times – who would have thought! We began a new tradition at our quilt shop as well. Brunch with Santa and Mrs Claus. Admission to the brunch is a donation of goods to the local food pantry. Everyone is welcome and Santa and Mrs Claus are available for pictures. This year we have added cookie decorating and ornament making for children (of any age).

Santa and Mrs Claus with children and a quilt

Santa and Mrs Claus love quilts too!

Portraying Santa and Mrs. Claus is not just putting on a costume. You are actually transformed and it is a wonderful feeling! Wherever we travel, all through the year, children look at Lenny with questioning eyes. He carries coins in his pocket that say, “You were caught being good”. The joy on children’s faces is a wonderful reward, as well as the joy that we see on the faces of many adults! What we do comes from the heart.

Becky and Lenny as Santa and Mrs. Claus, outside with children and families

The Clauses meeting and greeting

Our being Santa and Mrs. Claus is an extension of our community service that we incorporate into our quilt shop. We are Santa and Mrs. Claus all year! All through the year we work at different community service projects. We are blessed with wonderful customers that help us fulfill the needs in the community. Some of the projects that we are involved in are pillowcases for children with cancer, quilts for children in need, quilts for chemo patients, quilts for veterans, placemats for the meals on wheels program, walker bags and runners for local nursing homes, food for the local food bank, toys for foster children, stockings for homeless families, and more. Without the help of our customers this would not be as successful as it has been.

Santa is not just for children – it is a spirit that we carry within us and when we work together it is so much more effective! May you be blessed this Holiday season and take the opportunity to pay it forward! Merry Christmas!

Photos of Lenny and Becki Stratton as Santa and Mrs Claus

Visit Becki and Lenny at A Notion to Quilt at 623 Mohawk Trail, Shelburne, MA 01370 online, and on Facebook.