Santa’s eyes twinkled, his cheeks were rosy red, his nose like a cherry just like the famous poem, “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” says. What truly convinces you that the man standing in red before you is the embodiment of Saint Nicholas is his laugh. Full and round and delightful to the ear his laugh makes you believe.
While we all know that Santa Claus has helpers around the world that visit with children in his stead it is seldom that you meet one that makes the child in you believe. Timmy Stine, of Colonial Beach, is one of those.
Standing tall above Mrs. Crystal Claus and elf Jingles also known as Crystal Dorsey and her daughter Angel, Stine should be imposing but instead is one of the most welcoming Santa’s helpers around. Dorsey and Stine have been dating for the past five years and early in their relationship she took on the role as Mrs. Claus to add to the magic of Santa’s visit.
Since 1978 Stine has delighted children and adults with his full white beard and jolliness. His first year working as Santa he had a $25 suit and only five appearances, however, spreading Christmas cheer to young and old made him continue to do it every year.
Originally from Cobb Island, Maryland, Stine is a graduate of LaPlata High School and lives in Placid Bay. With his love of the holiday, beautiful white beard, and natural joyful laugh many in his hometown only know him as Santa. Dorsey even said that is most often what she calls him as it suits him so perfectly.
Santa, or Stine, answered some questions about his most jolly of jobs. When asked what his favorite part of donning the red suit he said, “When a child spots me and comes charging across the room for a hug. I have had to brace myself as I have nearly been knocked over but I absolutely love it.
“I love the magic in their eyes when they touch my beard or give it a tug and are convinced I am the real Santa,” said Stine. When you are faced with him, no matter how old and cynical you may be, the magic of Christmas is there.
Stine told of the most touching moments with children from spending time in emergency rooms calming down a sick child to being the first Santa a newborn has their picture taken with. Then, there was a magical moment that happened just last week.
While at a gas station, Stine gave a little girl a stuffed monkey with a white fur mane around its head. As he handed the monkey to the girl her Dad’s eyes grew wide as he reached to pull up his daughter’s jacket hood. It revealed a mane of white fur, just like the monkey’s, around her face. Dad said that he calls his daughter his little monkey especially when she is wearing that jacket.
Dorsey spoke of her love of taking pictures of kids who start off scared of Santa. She works with the children to calm their fears and bring the magic to life for them. It helps that she is elf-sized, as she calls it, and not much bigger than the children. A diminutive woman you can see that she loves what she does.
Not only do Mr. and Mrs. Claus appear at various events around Maryland and Virginia, but throughout the season Mrs. Claus dresses in casual Kringle wear whereever she goes. She brings along small gifts to hand out to children from time to time.
The couple also thanked everyone who donates toys to them to give out to children during the season as otherwise it would not be possible.
The final question asked of Santa was which reindeer was his favorite. Dasher was his reply, as he is closest to the sleigh on Christmas Eve. However, they have to be really careful and watch his diet the last few days before the big night, “If you know what I mean,” said Stine.
Crystal Claus (Crystal Dorsey,) Santa Claus (Timmy Stine,) and Jingles the Elf (Angel Dorsey) pose on the Colonial Beach Municipal pier in the pouring rain. The Claus family did not let the rain damper their enthusiasm for the holiday season.