Lloyd Stites depended on two strategies when playing Santa in Tecumseh, Michigan.
One was to wear mittens, covering up the missing parts of two fingers that he’d lost to a snowblower. The other was to tell the truth: His yellow truck–not reindeer–brought him to meet the kiddies.
Stites regretted having to dial back his Santa role in 1989, when I interviewed him for the Toledo Blade. Poor health forced him out of the game. But as you can see in the story, it may have save him some shoe leather.