On the Job: Here comes Santa Claus

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UNION, Miss. (WTOK) - I thought it was a normal day at WTOK, but when I walked in, a mysterious letter was waiting for me.

Lindsey handed me the yellow envelope as soon as I walked in.

"Candace, you've got a letter, and you will not believe where the return address is from," he told me.

I looked down to see "North Pole" written in the left-hand corner. Inside was a beautiful hand-written note:

Dear Candace,
It's almost time for one of my favorite events of the year - the Union Christmas parade! But this year, Mrs. Claus won't be able to join me. I've seen how much fun you've been having in your On the Job feature. Is there any way you could help me spread Christmas cheer to all the boys and girls in Union?

I will definitely add you to this year's nice list!

Yours truly,

I turned to Lindsey.

"Looks like I'm headed to Union!"

So with a little Christmas magic, I was ready to play my part, and none other than the Big Man in Red, himself, was waiting.

"Candace I'm so glad you could join me here in Union, Mississippi tonight for their annual Christmas parade. Mrs. Claus couldn't make it, and I'm so glad that you are here to help me," Santa told me. "Are you ready?

I learned quickly, being a Claus is a lot of fun. Especially when you're on a fire truck. The children were so excited to see us as we rode by with the other floats. Santa told me everything that was important to remember.

"Making sure we holler, 'Merry Christmas' and throwing out the candy. All the children and adults (are), hollering 'Hey Santa,' and we always want to make sure that we wave and do what we need to do," he explained.

It was fun, but also a big responsibility. Santa has to listen as all the children tell them their wishlists.

"What do you want for Christmas?" he asked again and again as each new kid sat in his lap.

Then, he keeps track of what they want, and who's naughty, and who's nice! It's all leading up to one very special day.

"We enjoy all Christmas parades," Santa said. "Union is a small town, and all the children seem to be wonderful, and I will be visiting them on Christmas Eve."

If you have any suggestions for a career you'd like to see featured "On the Job," email me at candace.barnette@wtok.com.