While the real Santa heads across the globe handing out presents to all the good boys and girls in the world each Christmas – a remarkable feat even with a team of elves and a herd of flying reindeer helping him out – many other lookalikes have been spreading the holiday cheer around various parts of the world, too. That includes the Ford Kentucky Truck plant, it seems, where a worker by the name of Laurence Morris – better known as Santa Larry – has long been putting his Santa-like appearance to good use at malls and even the production line, it seems.
Morris – an Army veteran with 25 years of service at Ford’s Kentucky Truck plant – spends most of the year working in repair as a door fitter on Chassis 2. However, for the past five years, he has also put his his five weeks of paid vacation to good use at the end of the year by playing mall Santa merely “for the joy it brings to others,” he said.
The whole thing actually started long before that, however, when Morris was unable to find a Santa that could visit with his son’s Cub Scout troop, which prompted him to don the iconic outfit for the very first time. Thus began a 31-year tradition that continues today, albeit on a grander scale, with Morris spreading holiday cheer to countless people of all ages. In fact, he once flagged down a middle-aged woman and took time to speak with her at a mall, only to later discover that she had been considering suicide – after which she came back and thanked him for his kindness and to share her story.
At the same time, Morris also spreads some holiday cheer at the Kentucky Truck plant these days, donning his Santa suit and bringing smiles to the faces of his co-workers at the same time. When he isn’t working or doing other things inside the plant, Morris can be found at the Chicago Ridge Mall and various other similar shopping centers in town through Christmas Eve, without fail, each and every year.