“The Gentle Santa”
1952 – 2021
International Santa Claus Hall of Fame – December 2021
Marinus “Dutch” Schrap, Sr., was born in the Netherlands. When he immigrated to the United States as a child, he brought the traditions of St. Nicholas with him.
When he was 16, his part-time job at Sears & Roebuck asked him to be Santa for their live tree lot, and his 53-year Santa career took off.
Serving many areas of Pennsylvania, Dutch Sr., focused on children and adults that needed a gentle Santa the most. He appeared at specialized clubs for breakfasts with Santa, libraries, scouting events, nursing homes, hospitals, and more.
He most loved visiting with children with exceptionalities and he knew exactly what to say and do to give those children a beautiful Santa experience.
Dutch Sr., was on the Board of Directors for Operation Nine Reindeer, Inc., a charitable foundation that serves the suburbs of Philadelphia and brings Christmas and support to those going through unforeseen and extreme circumstances.
He was a true Santa in every sense of the word.