Anonymous man plays Santa in Gastonia

A Gastonia man has been dressing as Santa Claus for 15 years.

Area resident Kelly Showalter said he decks his house with all kinds of Christmas decorations and hands out certificates and candy canes for children in the community.

He encourages families to bring a stocking with their child's name on it to go along with all the other stockings he hangs.

Showalter and her kids visited him on Friday when they also learned he endured a bad accident a few years ago and lost his leg, causing him to temporarily stop playing the role of Santa.

Gastonia's Santa is said to bring joy to children every holiday season.

"I must say what a sweet man he is," Showalter said. "After years of bringing happiness to excited children, mine included, they truly loved it, it seemed he could really use some joy himself."

He lives at 505 Fleetwood Circle. He can be reached at 704-864-0389. All you have to do is Follow Santa's Map now through Dec. 23.

Have you seen Gastonia's very own Santa? If so, send us information and photos to or call 704-944-3300. We would love to hear your story.