Mr. and Mrs. S. Claus pay an early visit to Ohatchee post office
by Laura Camper
lcamper@annistonstar.com
Dec 21, 2013 | 3075 views |  0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Carl and Reganne Brownfield portrayed Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Ohatchee Post Office on Saturday. (Anniston Star photo by Stephen Gross)
Carl and Reganne Brownfield portrayed Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Ohatchee Post Office on Saturday. (Anniston Star photo by Stephen Gross)
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OHATCHEE — The Post Office here was an impromptu stop for Santa and Mrs. Claus Saturday morning and children lined up to see them as soon as they appeared — save one, who posted himself in front of Santa with a camera.

Justin Crocker, 8, said he had already had his time on Santa’s lap, so when someone handed him a camera, he started snapping pictures.

“I’m thinking about how cute they are when they get up on there and hug him,” Crocker said.

Aimee Benson, postmaster, had invited Santa to come to a Christmas party for area children and found out just this past week that he would be able to make it. She had wanted him to come so area children would have a chance to see Santa in Ohatchee, Benson said. It’s the first time she’d invited him to the post office.

“We didn’t know what to expect,” Benson said.

She was worried no one would show up, but her worries were assuaged when a line formed even before the post office closed for the party at 10 a.m.

Sabrina Duncan said she visits the post office regularly and the staff had told her Santa would be there. She brought her children, Alyssa, 7, and Payton, 10. This was their second visit with Santa this Christmas season, she said.

“I asked for a Barbie doll,” Alyssa Duncan said as she ate a snack after sitting on Santa’s lap.

Her brother asked for boots, he said.

Carl Brownfield and his wife, Reganne, have portrayed Mr. and Mrs. Claus for about four years. They donate any money they make to charities — three years ago it was to Shoal Creek churches for tornado victims, this year it will be for Toys for Tots, Brownfield said. The last week before Christmas is a hectic one, he said. But when he realized he didn’t have any other commitments on Saturday, he of course wanted to come.

“Hopefully, to bring some smiles to children’s faces and keep their faith alive,” Brownfield said.

He charmed the children at the post office.

Although 2-year-olds are notoriously shy of Santa, he was able to coax a smile from 23-month-old Brandon St. John, while the boy’s mother, Kathy St. John, snapped a few pictures.

Alexia Barksdale, 3, was eating a cookie after her visit with Santa. It was her third time seeing him this year and she had grown quite attached. Before she left, she climbed on Santa’s lap for a second hug.

Behind her, Justin Crocker lifted the camera and started shooting.

Staff writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.

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