A Santa Claus in Boise continues to spread holiday cheer after he learned the true meaning of Christmas following a tragedy. At his North Pole in Boise, “Santa” Dan Christiansen switched out his sleigh for a school bus, all to fit the families that want a ride.
"It's heated and it smells like peppermint in there and everyone gets a candy cane," said Dan.
His route isn't as long as old Saint Nick's. It's a 15-minute loop around the neighborhood to see Christmas lights and it ends back at his house where people can view his collection of hundred and hundreds of Santa Clauses.
"I'm Santa Claus 365 days a year,” said Dan. “I try to help out people all the time. It's just something that I really do believe in. I'm probably one of the happiest people in the world right now."
But Dan hasn't always been this happy. Twenty-five years ago, he lost his wife and children and he entered a deep depression. But when a little girl gave him a Santa Claus doll, he learned how a small gift can make a big difference in someone's life.
"I said this what I want to do,” explained Dan. “I want to make people happy. A lot of Christmas spirit has been going away and I'm just trying to bring it back."
And if you look at the smiling faces of everyone who comes to see him, you can tell he's making a difference. He knows just how hard the Christmas season can be for some, and he just want's to make it a bit easier.
"There are lots of families that come up and they cry and they give me hugs and they say you do not realize what you are doing for us and our families and that just makes me feel so good," said Dan.
Dan has since remarried and says they start decorating in November. The day before Christmas Eve was the last night of the year to catch a bus ride with him.