Santa and Mrs. Claus make their home in Blooming Prairie

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 2, 2002

Ho! Ho! Ho! The real Mr.

Sunday, December 2, 2001

Ho! Ho! Ho! The real Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus don’t live at the North Pole but in Blooming Prairie.

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Mr. Santa Claus is round and has a long fluffy white beard and rosy cheeks. Mrs. Santa Claus has a warm smile, eyes that twinkle and soft rosy cheeks.

Who are Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus? The real Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus are Bill and Margaret Noble. These two fit the description of the legendary jolly old elf and his wife to a ‘T.’

Margaret explained how she and Bill took on the roles of Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.

"Bill has always had a beard and as he got older it just got whiter and whiter. Our daughter, Michelle said he should be Santa Claus. Bill said if he was going to be Santa Claus that I had to be Mrs. Santa Claus," said Margaret.

Bill said, "Margaret didn’t want to left alone while I drove all around being Santa Claus."

Michelle made costumes for her parents. At first they played Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus at family gatherings.

Then they had their first public appearance as Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus at Michelle’s hardware store in Chatfield. This led to another appearance at another daughter’s day care in Kasson. Then the next year they showed up at daughter Amy Seitz’ store in Northfield.

"We were an instant hit. People were just thrilled. Sometimes little children are afraid to come up to a man, but they will warm up to Margaret quicker. Little children and older people just love us," said Bill.

In Chatfield a ninety-year-old woman was so thrilled to get her photo taken with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. She couldn’t wait to send the photo to her children on the East and West Coasts.

"She couldn’t wait to show them that Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus lived here in the Midwest," said Bill.

Every year the Nobles show up as Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus at the annual Blooming Prairie Hollidazzle. This is one of the Nobles favorite appearances.

This year they had photos taken with participants at Farmers and Merchants Bank. They rode in a horse drawn wagon with residents and sang Christmas carols. Other places where they’ve made appearances are at 4-H Club parties, church groups and the fire department parties.

"We went to a Gopher football game in costume and we were very well received. Another time we went to a Twins game and that was a disaster. A Twins game is no place for Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. The fans were very crude to us," said Bill.

Bill hasn’t shaved his beard since 1979. Margaret is a beautician and she keeps his beard well trimmed. People accuse him of bleaching his beard, she said, but he doesn’t.

"I raised four kids, that is why my hair turned so white," Bill joked.

"We just do this for fun," said Margaret.

When Bill is Santa Claus he enters the room shaking sleigh bells and carrying a large red Santa bag. This year their daughter, Michelle, made them new outfits as she said they needed a splashier look. The new outfits are glitzier.

The Nobles have so much fun taking on the roles of Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. They were getting their portrait taken in Hayfield a couple years back, in their outfits, and the photographer asked them if they had made an appearance at a farm house down the road, that is always spectacularly decorated at Christmas. The Nobles said ‘No’ but they would like to see the farm. The photographer gave them directions and the Nobles drove over to the farm.

"We could see the lights of the farm before we got there. It’s a farm east of Hayfield. They really spend a lot of time decorating their spread.

"I saw the couple through their window and I told Margaret that we had to go up and see them. They were just so surprised that Mr. and Mrs. Santa had actually stopped to visit them. They took our picture standing around their decorations. That was a lot of fun," said Bill.

Bill and Margaret are retired. Bill worked for the telephone company and at his son’s Owatonna company, Retrofit, until he retired. Margaret is a retired beautician.

The Nobles said they will continue to be Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus until it no longer is fun. It doesn’t look like that is going to happen, they are having way too much fun.

Call Sheila Donnelly at 434-2214 or e-mail her at