| Marian Kelso, also known as Mrs. Claus, visits with Jake Chittenden in Blacksburg. Courtesy of Downtown Blacksburg Inc.|
BLACKSBURG - It’s often said that behind every great man, there is a great woman.
Jolly Old St. Nick is no exception, and Blacksburg’s Marian Kelso is making sure Christmas’ first lady stays plenty busy year-round.
For more than 20 years, the 87-year-old former primary school teacher has donned the red skirt, apron and white bonnet that make up the uniform of Mrs. Claus.
“Mrs. Claus gets old and just keeps going,” Kelso said.
Kelso, formerly of Alexandria, Va., said her career as Kris Kringle’s spouse began while working as the coordinator for volunteers at Alexandria Hospital. Kelso said that thanks to her love of children and her Mrs. Claus look, her and Santa’s appearance for the employees’ children soon became a yearly tradition.
The appearances also spilled over to Fairlington United Methodist Church, also in Alexandria. Kelso said her appearances at the church continue today, as she made the trip of more than 250 miles in December to play Mrs. Claus for more than 200 underprivileged children.
Read Full Article