On Christmas Eve the other night
I saw the most amazing sight,
for there beneath the Christmas tree
was Santa upon one knee.
His countenance was different than
that all-familiar, jolly grin;
his head was bowed, with hand to breast,
and slightly tucked into his vest.
For there in a nativity
was Jesus and His family,
And as I heard him start to pray
I listened closely to what he’d say.
“Lord, you know that you’re the reason
I take pleasure in this season.
I don’t want to take your place,
but just reflect your wondrous grace.
I hope you’ll help them understand
I’m just an ordinary man,
who found a way to do your will
by finding kids with needs to fill.
But all those centuries ago,
there was no way for me to know
that they would make so much of me,
and all the gifts beneath the tree.
They think I have some hidden power
granted at the midnight hour,
but it is my love for you
inspiring the things I do.
So when they begin to open
gifts for which they have been hoping,
may they give you all the glory,
for you’re the One True Christmas story.”
Dear Robert and Carol aka “Santa and Mrs. Claus”,
Thank you so much for making our annual Breakfast with Santa spectacular. We have received many calls, emails and social media comments on how authentic you both are from head to toe. One of my most favorite comments comes from a guest in her 50’s stating that every year she comes to the event, because seeing you both makes her “believe”. Guests of all ages enjoy seeing you; even we employees can’t wait to hear that “Santa and Mrs. Claus are on grounds.”
I am honored to work with the real Santa and Mrs. Claus year after year! Thank you for all you do for us.
All the best-
Chicago Botanic Garden; Coordinator Visitor Events and Programs
To Whom It May Concern,
It’s my absolute pleasure to recommend Robert and Carol Hildreth to portray Santa and Mrs. Claus at your next event.
I have known the Hildreth’s for four years now and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with them. They have portrayed Santa and Mrs. Claus at our annual Breakfast with Santa and Polar express events, as well as participating in our July 4th parade.
When you think of the traditional Santa and Mrs. Claus, you imagine jolly, friendly, smiling people who bring joy to all around them. In addition to Roberts’s natural beard and Santa-like presence, and Carol’s bright personality, they both fully embody these characteristics. They have helped take our events to a new level and have been an absolute pleasure to work with.
Without a doubt I confidently recommend Robert and Carol, as Santa and Mrs. Claus, to join your next event. I know they will be a wonderful addition and asset to your organization.
Please feel free to contact me at should you like to discuss the Hildreths’ qualifications and experience further. I’d be happy to expand on my recommendation.
Manager of Parks & Recreation
Village of Hinsdale
Santa and Mrs. Claus have been visiting the kids here at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Chicago for the last few years. We get so excited for their visit. They make sure all the kids are seen in our outpatient clinic to our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Santa and Mrs. Claus are the real deal.
Santa is so patient and takes the time to listen to the kids share their stories and what they wish for Christmas. He has a way to communicating with our patients no matter their background, their age, or their interests. He can spontaneously have a conversation with ease and can even answer their questions about the elf on a shelf. Santa has a myriad of knowledge as he has proven he can relate to any child at any age.
When you look at Santa, you believe. The authenticity is remarkable. The kids AND adults stand in amazement and take a double take as if they are saying to themselves “Do you see what I see”? As a children’s hospital we get many characters visit during the holidays. Many of our teen patients are not interested in approaching them at all. THIS Santa however is different and ALL of our patients whether 2 or 21 enjoy talking with him and invite them in. He has the ability to touch the hearts of so many with his warmth and caring nature.
I highly recommend Robert for your holiday events. He is authentic and has a heart of gold. You will not be disappointed.
Darlene Kelly, CTRS
Director Recreation Therapy/.Child Life Department
Shriners Hospitals for Children – Chicago
I have worked with Bob and Carol now for about 5 years. Our relationship started out with portraits of them, Santa headshots, and quickly moved to working together on many projects as Santa. From small quaint occasions to all out hundreds of people waiting in line. Each time I am impressed with him. I hear that time and time again from different clients we’ve worked with as well. No matter the crowd he makes it seem like you’ve known him for years. Children aside, he knows how to handle adults as well, which is very important. When it comes with dealing with children is where Bob shines the most. Yes, he makes an outstanding looking Santa but his skills with the kids is where he really shines. He makes each one feel special, even in a group setting. He talks with them, laughs with them, he listens to them. Bob and Carol are very professional and both love kids dearly, they know how to care for them, and how to manage them as well. I would recommend Bob in a heartbeat, I love working with them.
Aldo Risolvo, Photographer
I have known Bob Hildreth for the past three years. I am the media specialist at the school where Bob is principal. During this three year period I have had many opportunities to observe and admire his great character and abilities to work with many different personalities in children as well as adults. We have a Family Reading Night every year right before Christmas and Santa (Bob) is our major draw. Parents and children line up to have a chance to talk to the REAL SANTA. When the children lay eyes on him they are in awe. His appearance is eloquent:
real hair, real mustache, and a very sophisticated and magnificent Santa suit. They stand in amazement and just stare for a few minutes before they finally approach.
The children warm up to Bob in a special way. He has the ability to focus on each individual with warmth and care responding spontaneously to their requests and concerns. These excellent people skills along with his striking appearance have set him apart from the run of the mill Santa. His appearance is eloquent and classic.
I highly recommend Bob for any occasion or activity where a Santa is needed. He will exceed any expectations you may have for the event. It will be a magical wonderful experience for all.
Kerr Middle School
We want to thank you for making our family Christmas celebration so special again this year. As we gather on Christmas Eve, your visit is a highlight. Our younger grandchildren are convinced that you are really Santa and they are so excited to have you with us. When we look at the pictures and see their faces again, it gives us so much joy. The older ones believe in Christmas magic again when you arrive and they really enjoy watching their little cousins interact with you. The adults also look forward to seeing the joy of Christmas that Santa can bring amid remembering the birth of Jesus so many years ago. We all become kids again for a brief moment.
We hope that we can look forward to more visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus in the future and we wish you a very Happy New Year.
With our appreciation,
Barb and Jim Holmes
Santa and Mrs. Claus would like to express what a great Christmas season we had. We enjoyed visiting with each and every one of you. To all the families we were touched by, “Thank You” for letting us into your homes and for letting us be a part of the events you attended. To all the boys and girls we met, it was delightful talking to you. Your wishes and requests brought a smile to our faces and warmed our hearts. From the special requests of certain toys, to one child wanting a new kitchen for his mother, and others that said I have all I need, Mrs. Claus and I hope we were able to make most of your wishes come true. To the companies and organizations that included us in their events, we want to express a heartfelt, “Thank You”, Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. We look forward to being part of your events in 2017.
Visits for the 2016 season were:
- Village of Hinsdale Park & Recreation Department
- Downers Grove Park District, Downers Grove, Illinois
- Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois
- BMO Harris, Hinsdale Illinois
- Lexington Square Senior Center, Elmhurst, Illinois
- Shriners Children’s Hospital, Oak Park, Illinois
- Advocate Children’s Hospital, Des Planes, Illinois
- ReMax-Destiny, Elk Grove, Illinois
- Camping World, Lincolnshire, Illinois
- Marcus Lemonis, LLC, Lincolnshire, Illinois
- Art Van Furniture in Downers Grove, Illinois
- D’Lara Photography, Downers Grove, Illinois
- Stacy Vitallo Photography, Batavia, Illinois
- Seven Bridges Ice Arena, Woodridge, Illinois
- A.B.A.T.E. of Illinois, DuKane Chapter, West Chicago, Illinois
- The Chapel at Immaculate Conception, Elmhurst, Illinois
- The Drake Oak Brook, Oak Brook, Illinois
- Aurora Bank and Trust, Aurora, Illinois
- WASCO Nursery, Wasco, Illinois
- Elgin Police, Elgin, Illinois
- The Ride For Kids, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
- Oak Brook Children’s Hospital, Oak Brook, Illinois
- and all the homes and private parties we visited.
Dear Santa Robert,
I would like to thank you for the huge part that you and Mrs. Claus play in my daughters holiday season. For the last few years you both have been coming to our cookie exchange party as a secret visitor. When you walk in the door all eyes are on you, not just because of the red suit, but because you both personally have made a heartfelt impression on my girls and their friends. They LOVE how you take the time to listen to all the things they have to say, not just their wish list of toys. Continue reading
My wife and I own the Drake Oak Brook Hotel. Last year we hired Bob and Carol as Santa and Mrs. Claus. The results speak for themselves. Last year we had 150 people show up. This year close to 700. All of this was through word of mouth. Bob and Carol were the best Santa and Mrs. Claus we have ever seen. The parents were thrilled. We can’t say enough in terms of how happy we are with their performance.
Jim and Tely Nagle