Are you having a difficult time finding your Christmas spirit this year? Are you tired of the commercialism? Not in the giving mood? Or perhaps feeling a bit too old to believe in stories about Santa and sleigh-rides?
Dan Christiansen is a modern-day Santa Claus. He is a local man who has been giving unconditionally for over two decades and plans on doing it for the rest of his life.
“When I give,” Christiansen said. “I feel worth in my life.”
About twenty years ago, Christiansen lost his wife and children; it was after this that a “very special woman,” as he said, gave him a Santa Claus figurine and told him to study it. So he did. And with it he learned the power of giving. It was after this he, in a very Saint Nick fashion, began decorating the yards of people who did not have the means to do so themselves.
Cut to twenty years later, Christiansen was re-married to his “sweetheart” with three children. And he says he’s happier than ever.
In October he sets up his Halloween decorations and eclectic yard inflatables.
Then the day after Thanksgiving, he and his wife begin to set the Christmas lights up, a process which takes two weeks and a power bill of up to $600 a month. Once the lights are up, they stay up until the arrival of the New Year.
Not only has his light display brightened the mood of the neighborhood, but also upped the ante for his neighbors.
“When we first moved in, there were about 11 houses with lights and now about 1/3 (around 50) of the houses have lights,” Christiansen said.
Besides the lights, this man gives sleigh-rides and fire-truck rides around the neighborhood from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. nearly every night in December. These rides are free of charge and to everyone in attendance, and he gives away candy canes. On Christmas Eve, no matter the weather, he is outside, “running up and down the street,” as he said, giving out candy and hot cocoa to every passerby.
These kind seasonal gestures are for people of all ages and from all areas.
According to Christiansen, he has given rides to everyone, from two-week-old babies to a 99-year-old woman last Christmas.
Additionally, a family from the Bronx in New York visited his house a few years back.
And this is not all.
After he gives rides, he invites everyone into his house to take a look at his close to 640 Santa figurines, which he has collected throughout all of his years of doing this.
“I am Santa, of course. And I practice what I believe in year-round,” he said.
Christiansen invites all to come to his house on 2200 E. Oakridge Street, Boise. And to all he wishes a “Merry Christmas!”