Gavin Williams talks to Santa Claus and tells him his Christmas wishes. 

By Debby Schamber

For the Record

Everything is cheery and bright in Christmas Tree Village, especially when Santa Claus comes to town. 

Christmas Tree Village is located off FM 1442 on Taylor Circle. Santa will be at 9005 Taylor Circle from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on December 14th, 16th, 22nd and 23rd. Weather permitting, he will be ready to greet passersby. 

The neighborhood began individually decorating their houses. They decided on their Christmas tree theme and come together as one when they thought the tree was something each could simply do.

Each yard is decorated with twinkling lights and various Christmas decorations such as Nativity Scenes, Nutcracker Soldiers, Deer and Snowmen too. 

But, as most decorations come and go, residents have added to their collections over the years and it continues to grow annually. 

Becoming Santa Claus was one of those things that has evolved too for Len VanMarion. He retired from Exxon Mobil as an engineer and moved to Orange about 15 years ago. More recently, he purchased a Santa suit and began making appearances as the jolly old elf.

“It was a lot of fun, so I did it again,” VanMarion said.

Therefore, he decided to upgrade pieces of the outfit such as the beard one piece at a time. 

Now on scheduled evenings, he waits at the end of his driveway for families to come by his house. He talks to the children. They tell him what they want for Christmas, but when they tell him they want an animal such as dog, cat or horse, he tells them to check with their parents first. Also if the child should ask for a motor bike or ATV, then he tells them they must wear a helmet because safety is very important. 

VanMarion says he is often asked where his reindeer are kept. He replies they are behind the building so the cars won’t disturb them. 

Before the car pulls away, each child is given a candy cane and wished a Merry Christmas.  As the editor of the New York Sun once wrote to eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist…”