For those who came to the December Hip Tot Music Fest, along with Jeremy Plays Guitar and Sesame Street’s Bob you got to meet our super awesome Santa. You all recognize Santa but you may not have known that our Santa is really a girl!
Santa and I go way back. She’s actually my cousin. Now how did my cousin get rooked into the role of Santa you might ask? Many of you know I used to have a store called Still Hip, a chidren’s resale shop. In the back play area we decided to host Santa portraits. The first year my husband at the time took on the jolly role. Soon after he and I split up. I really wasn’t sure what to do about Santa. My cousin Erica had just come out of a long term relationship herself and the two of us started talking a lot. One night we were chatting and I was telling her about my Santa dilemma. Now I’m not sure who said it first but I can assure you we both laughed. What if Erica was Santa? Hilarious! But the more she thought about it, the more she got into it. Suddenly there was no way she couldn’t be Santa! It was set!
We didn’t even know what a hoopla it would create. In 2009 The New York Time Local blog did a great story about her. I was so excited to see the story. I put my 4 year old on my lap and we started to read the article together. As I scrolled down my son exclaimed, “COUSIN ERICA IS SANTA?!?!” I looked at the screen and there was a picture of Erica pulling down her beard to reveal that she was (is) indeed a woman. Luckily my son now thought we really have an in with Santa since we are related!
To hear Santa banter, one might think that he’d worn the red suit, boots, beard and wig for decades. But this Santa was unlike the department store variety that most recall, since “he” was a “she.” –Amelia Blanquera, The Local, New York Times
Here we are 5 years later and Erica cherishes her role. This year Santa got a spot on News Channel 12 and a full story in the Wall Street Journal just in time for Christmas! I am so proud of my cousin and I know she and I will be spreading holiday joy for many years to come.
Few things make her happier than entertaining children as Santa. “I am really, 100%, always, wholeheartedly into Christmas,” she said. She picked up the trait from her mother and grandmother, both of whom were “hard-core into Christmas.” Since their deaths, Ms. Goepel carries the holiday torch for her family. –Jackie Bischof, The Wall Street Journal