“JL Hudson’s Department Store Santa”
1920 – 1989
International Santa Claus Hall of Fame – December 2022
Christmas was legendary at Detroit’s famed Department Store J.L. Hudson’s. As of the world’s largest stores, the holiday season kicked off with the Thanksgiving Day Parade and Santa arriving to take his spot on the twelfth floor of the building.
For nearly two decades the role of St. Nicholas was portrayed by Ruben Yashinsky. As the quintessential department store Santa Claus, Yashinsky appeared annually in Hudson’s spectacular parade, gliding on Woodward Avenue on his beautiful Reindeer and Sleigh float to arrive at the store to receive the Key to the City.
He also entertained little visitors and children of all ages in “Santa Land” and made promotional, commercial and television appearances on behalf of the store. Yashinsky also appeared at many public and private events in and around the greater Detroit area. Every child in the “Motor City” knew that the Real Santa was at JL Hudson’s Department Store. And that was who Ruben Yashinsky was to generations of children and their families. He was Santa Claus.