When Barb Masho dons her Mrs. Claus costume throughout the Christmas season she transforms into a loveable character that children can’t resist. She fills her pockets with sprinkle dust and loops a key on a string around her neck, all props to help her answer the inevitable questions: How does Santa get down my chimney? I don’t have a fireplace, how does he get into my house?
“I love being Mrs. Claus,” Barb, who has lived at Garden Spot Village since July 1999 and has served as Mrs. Claus at the New Holland Business Association’s Christmas on Main for the past 5 years, says. “It’s a wonderful opportunity and something I look forward to at Christmas. I love connecting with little children. It brings me such joy. Their spontaneity and their joy… they desire to be with people who love them and who they love.”
Barb first transformed into Mrs. Claus at Kitchen Kettle Village when she worked as a storyteller there. She read the story, The Gingerbread Man, to children throughout the year. One fall she recommended that she change her book to Twas the Night Before Christmas leading up to Christmas. With some brainstorming, the Kitchen Kettle Village staff took that simple idea and they introduced “Dinner with Mrs. Claus.” For seven years Barb served as Mrs. Claus, reading the story and interacting with children.
Of that experience she says, “I almost said no, because it meant I needed to work every Friday and Saturday evening between Thanksgiving and Christmas but what a blessing I received. I would have missed so much if I said no.”
Although she “retired” as a paid Mrs. Claus several years ago, Barb still volunteers at Mrs. Claus for the New Holland Business Association’s Christmas on Main the first Saturday in December and Garden Spot Village’s annual Breakfast with Santa the second Saturday in December.