If you’re wondering where Santa hides out in the Summer months, it’s in Tennessee. He’s celebrating Christmas in July. And even though it’s 100 plus degrees outside, the Christmas spirit is alive and well. AccentCare’s Home Health office in Franklin, always checks in with it’s rare patient in the hot summer months, so they stay off the Naughty List. For Home Health Clinical Manager, Candy McNeese, helping Santa put the Ho Ho Ho back into his Go Go Go is a top priority!
A few summers ago, Candy was pulling up to a patients house and noticed a bright red corvette in the front driveway that had a license plate that said, “Ask Claus.” Thinking that was a little unique, she continued on to the house. After knocking on the front door, Candy said the patients petite wife answered and welcomed her into the house. Walking through the front foyer, Candy realized she had entered a Christmas cottage at the North Pole. The house was covered in Christmas decorations from top to bottom. Christmas trees, festive greenery, ornaments, ribbons, pillows, paintings, snow globes, you name it! Turning the corner, she immediately spotted the focus of all the Christmas frills. Sitting in a recliner in the middle of the living room was Saint Nicholas himself!
Harry Petty, her new patient, prefers to be called Santa. He needed some home health help to be jolly again. Harry’s full-time job has been playing the jovial man. For years, he’s been the official Santa Claus in the state parade with the Governor of Tennessee. He’s been Kris Kringle for galas, parties, and events too!
As a graduate of the International University of Santa Claus, Harry has a lot of experience as the big man in red. And yes, there is an actual school for Santa’s. It’s been around for 20 years. With a gleam in his eye, Harry mentioned to Candy how he even taught classes at the university.
Going over his assessment, Candy asked him what his goals were for therapy. His number one goal was to be able to participate as St. Nicolas again. Over the years, this memorable man has been on and off services with AccentCare and his caregivers always love caring for him.
Continuing to spread holiday spirit, last December, he made a memorable stop at the AccentCare office. He laughed, visited, and posed for pictures with the staff. The stopover brought joy to team members, who loved seeing him out and about. While there, the caregiving team had a special surprise for Santa. Something he doesn’t usually get: his own gift! The staff happily presented him with a creative carving of Santa Claus that brought tears to his eyes.
While he hasn’t been Father Christmas again in the holiday parade, Claus is on the mend! He accomplished one of his therapy goals recently. He put on his Santa Suit and visited a children’s hospital in the Nashville area. Seeing the smiling faces of the kids was all he needed to feel whole again. His caregivers are proud to call him part of the AccentCare family!