BROUSSARD — For more than five years now, Mark and Christianna Gallagher have been taking on the roles of Mr. And Mrs. Claus, bringing joy to everyone they meet while on their makeshift sleigh. Today, while they still take on the bulk of their task, they now have an army of elves helping them as they try to get people into the holiday spirit.
Candy canes--out. Reindeer--ready. Route checked--it's time to hit the road.
"Christmas would come and go, and we'd regret the things that we missed along the way," Mark, better known as "Golf Cart Santa," told us. "That started to be a huge part of the movement of this--so we could take our families and enjoy the moment and share that with a lot of people out there, too."
These days, Golf Cart Santa and Mrs. Claus have a police escort. When they started this project, they never thought it would become this big.
"We get together and have a golf cart planning meeting now and we look for ideas," Golf Cart Santa said. "A lot of our neighbors are contributors. In fact, the lady holding the light, is a contributor of the bubble machine this year."
"We wanted snow and bubbles was about the closest that we could get."
"It's been a great community involvement and a lot of fun sharing that with our friends."
Just like Santa's all-night journey around the world, Golf Cart Santa has a little help from his friends. A number of elves work tirelessly to make sure Golf Cart Santa's ride through Broussard and Youngsville happen without a hitch.
"My particular duty is that I hold the flashlight," one elf told us. "I hold the flashlight so all of those pictures come out really good when kids get their picture with santa claus. I have a really important job."
"I drive," another elf told us. "I have to make sure the reindeer go the right direction and not hit any kids. It's a fun trip."
They're more than happy to oblige. They say the spirit of Christmas truly comes alive when they see all of those smiling faces waiting on the man in red.
"I think hugging the kids and feeling God's love in your heart and pouring out," Mrs. Claus said. "It's pretty special."
"It's been life changing," Golf Cart Santa added. "Seeing the smiles on the faces of the kids and even the parents. They come out by themselves and hang out. It's truly amazing to witness what Christmas is really about."
Golf Cart Santa is on Facebook and Instagram. Just search for Golf Cart Santa to find their schedule and pictures of their journey.