HOMETOWN HERO: Mr. & Mrs. Claus

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- "Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse," says Dennis Jones, also known as Santa Claus, reading his favorite holiday book.

From the black, fur-trimmed boots, to the shiny gold belt-buckle, and of course those jolly, red cheeks, his home-made outfit is easy to spot out as St. Nick.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus are very busy this time of year.

"I start the day after Thanksgiving and will mainly do weekends until the last week of school and then I will do every day, as much as 10-12 hours each day in various places all the way through, I have run through all the way through Christmas Day," says Santa.

As a couple, Dennis and his wife Janis visit schools, churches, businesses, and even arrange to have families come visit them at their home, spreading the Joy of Christmas.

When asked about their favorite part of the process, Santa says, "Making the kids smile, that makes my day."

"Well I really get a kick out of it when they come to me first and not him. I think that's kind of funny," adds Mrs. Claus.

"Just their smiles, just the trust that you see in their eyes. I like working with kids, period, so it just warms my heart," she says.

But it's not just the kids who they've impacted.

Their neighbor, Vickie Voyles, says they practice what they preach when it comes to the saying "it's better to give than receive."

"I come home to a groomed yard and schrubs that Santa does for me, and I sure do appreciate it," Voyles says.

"They're bringing joy and happiness and that's not something these children get every day, so, to make them feel special for a few minutes or make them happy or make them laugh, that's what they do, and that's how they do everybody," she continues.

Santa says some kids come up to him with wish lists including things like "I want everything" -- but then there are some -- that are harder to get through.

"We've had the ones that have just come up and said, "I just want a present" and we've even had the ones that said, "I want my mom." It's hard with some of the kids because they truly let their feelings out with us. When they ask you for that, it's hard to give them a good answer," he says.

The couple says their hope is to make everyone be able to see a little bit of Christmas Magic.

"I tell them [the meaning of Christmas is] sharing and giving and being together," says Mrs. Claus.

"We share and try to celebrate as much as we can the birth of Jesus, but with many, we want to share the aspect of being generous to your neighbor so that it makes a difference. And it's not just about you getting something, but being able to give, but not just for Christmas, but to give the whole year," adds Santa.

For their kindness to their neighbors and the work put in each year to spread the Christmas Spirit, we honor Mr. and Mrs. Claus as this week's Hughes and Coleman Hometown Hero.

And in Santa's own words, "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night."

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