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’Tis the Season

The Dynamic Duo Behind Boerne’s Santa Operations

Article by Aubrey Matson

Photography by Sarah Brooke Lyons

Originally published in Boerne Lifestyle

’Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring —except one couple’s preparations to keep a certain Christmas spirit alive and well. Dave and Eileen Strom, a.k.a. “Santa Dave” and Christmas garment seamstress Eileen, have been in the serious Santa business since 2006. While they began their Christmas operations in California,
they have since relocated to the San Antonio area.

Dave Strom’s role in this endeavor is apparent, as he makes a wide variety of appearances as Santa at private parties, reading events at the Boerne Library, HOA events, and more. In fact, being Santa is a year-round profession for the couple; Strom explained he makes an appearance as “summer Santa” in late July for Boerne’s “Movies in the Park” event. Strom also does nursing home visits as Santa; Eileen recounted that even in their older years, the residents find joy in visits from Santa.

However, the affair would not be complete without a Mrs. Claus. Eileen Strom is a top-of-the-line seamstress who not only makes Santa suits but Christmas garments of all kinds. Eileen does not only make them for her husband: she has a worldwide demand for her Christmas creations. Her work has included that of island Santa garments for a Cayman Islands Santa as
well as garments for clients in Scotland using authentic Tartan fabric. Eileen designed Dave’s original Santa suit and then expanded her business because of the need for quality Christmas costumes and clothing. “You can’t just walk into JC Penny’s and get a Santa vest,” noted Eileen.

Although, Dave’s road to becoming Santa was not a conventional path. Dave recalled an experience from decades ago where he had been climbing telephone poles and a child thought him to be Santa who was passing through delivering gifts. “Did you get my letter?” the child asked. Dave, due to sustaining immense hip injuries, found himself semi-retired. However, Dave
began making phone calls as Santa for family members’ children, thus beginning his association with Father Christmas himself.

The couple agreed that their favorite part of what they do is bringing joy to the people they encounter. Dave explained that there’s something special about bringing about a sense of magic, as well as giving people a special memory that lives on. “You can’t buy that,” said Dave. Dave and Eileen both place great value on the impact they leave on the children and adults
they visit, and fulfilling the need for the magic of the season is magical for them too, indeed.

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