Monthly Archives: November 2019
Above: “Santa Bob” Hildreth of Elgin plays Santa at upwards of 50 holiday events, often accompanied by Mrs. Claus, his wife, Carol.Christmas is not a job for him. It’s his genuine identity. For more than 30 years, “Santa Bob,” known to his former students as Mr. Hildreth, has gently asked children what they want under the tree and charmed adults with his folksy, genial demeanor.
He first put on the red suit as a teenager in Cicero at the request of his mom, the head of the PTA. “We need a Santa? Will you do it?” she asked him, even though he needed padding for plumpness and, of course, a white beard for facsimile. Mom must have known something. Continue reading