What do you suppose Santa Claus does when he isn’t busy delivering presents to good little boys and girls? He upholsters cars, of course!
Allen Roy of Allen’s Auto Upholstery in Corpus Christi, Texas, is the spitting image of jolly old Saint Nick — and he totally embraces it.
In addition to his long white beard, Allen has a hearty belly, a merry laugh and a twinkle in his eye. He also wears red year round, which attracts a lot of attention from little kids.
“When my wife and I go somewhere, we’ll dress up in red — I have a red Hawaiian shirt I like — and I’ll put on my red golfing hat,” Allen told Corpus Christi Business News. “I tell kids I’m there to make sure they are still being good.”
Sometimes children willl approach him to confess that they’ve been naughty and ask forgiveness.
“I tell them the important thing is to have a good heart, then doing good things will come more naturally,” he said. “I say, as long as you’ve got a good heart, start now and you’ll be OK. We always get the chance to start over again.”
When Christmas season rolls around, that’s when the real fun begins.
Allen busies himself with gigs across the city, playing Santa Claus for local charities, department stores and holiday parties. He often brings his wife along, who dresses up as Mrs. Claus and helps him out.
He even does house calls, surprising children on Christmas Eve with gifts.
When Allen isn’t bringing cheer to boys and girls, he keeps busy in a workshop — not building toys, but restoring car interiors.
He opened Allen’s Auto Upholstery in 1991. There, he does everything from restoration to custom work. He even repairs marine and motorcycle upholstery.
Allen’s shop is very successful, thanks to a combination of talent, careful attention to detail and cheery customer service.
“I like doing upholstery,” he told CorpusChristi.com. “I like the creative aspect of it and the satisfaction from seeing things, knowing they’re done right and they look nice. I take a lot of pride when the customer is satisfied and when they smile and shake my hand.”
“I get a lot of satisfaction from redoing something and having it look good.”
Still, his true passion is bringing joy to children.
“The spirit of Christmas for me is the laughter of children, seeing them brighten up when they see Santa and all the beautiful decorations,” he told Corpus Christi Business News.
“They are innocent and don’t understand the stress of life. Children should stay children as long as they can.”