Thursday, December 11, 2008

The more popular McMaken

My uncle Herb is a Real Santa. Real Santas are men with bona fide long white beards who get paid premiums to be "Santa's Helpers" at stores and events. There is a listing of them at The good malls all have Real Santas.

Herb was Santa recently at the Orange County Market Place. According to the Newport Beach Daily Pilot:

The beginning of the Holiday shopping season at the Orange County Market Place is heralded each year with the arrival of Santa Claus.

This year Santa was helped by Anaheim resident Herb McMaken, who arrived in a red 1929 Model A roadster Saturday morning at the swap meet, waving to holiday shoppers and children.

The kids lined up to sit on Santa’s lap this year are still asking for the same stuff they always have, despite a less-than-cheery economic climate — they want toys, video games and ponies, McMaken said.

“Santa’s not worried about the economy,” McMaken said. “He still has plenty of toys.”

If Santa isn’t worried about the economy, the vendors at the swap meet are. This holiday shopping season has been slower than in past years for sellers at the Orange County Market Place, who come each week to sell everything from flip flops and T-shirts to handmade quilts.