“Lorain’s Woman Santa Claus”
1899 – 1995
International Santa Claus Hall of Fame – December 2020
For nearly three decades the children and their families of Lorain, Ohio were treated with visits from Santa Claus, a very special Santa Claus, Idella Holzhauer.
Her role was a precarious one. Every word must be ad libbed while her manner, too, and attitude were scrutinized minutely. She always stated that Christmas is a time of infinite hope, suspense and sometimes tears.
She started playing Santa Claus for her own little daughter, Janice, who died in infancy. Later, she donned a Kris Kringle suit and was Santa for her daughter, Ladonna, and her son, George. Eventually this “Lorain St. Nick” started to visit families and businesses.
She had an ability to draw children to her naturally, knowing when to pick up a little boy or girl and when not to. The very young ones, sometimes afraid at first, she let them get accustomed to her before she gently takes them on her knee or shakes their hands.
She never charged for her services. On the contrary, she frequently spent her own money on the children – making them popcorn balls and cookies.
Idella Holzhauer lived to the ripe old age of 96, passing away on May 12, 1995.