Beloved local Santa honored by city


Dec. 25 to be known as ‘Greg Paxson Day’

By Karen Rase - [email protected]



Greg Paxson, pictured during an event at Days of Discovery in Beavercreek Township on Dec. 16, has played Santa Claus for the greater Xenia community and beyond for numerous years. He was presented with a proclamination on Wednesday from Xenia mayor Sarah Mays that Dec. 25 will be known as “Greg Paxson Day”.

Greg Paxson, pictured during an event at Days of Discovery in Beavercreek Township on Dec. 16, has played Santa Claus for the greater Xenia community and beyond for numerous years. He was presented with a proclamination on Wednesday from Xenia mayor Sarah Mays that Dec. 25 will be known as “Greg Paxson Day”.


Contributed photo

Paxson has received the requests of countless children during his time as Santa Claus, as he did in this photo during an event at Xenia Station on Dec. 2.


File Photo

Paxson is pictured with his grandchildren Hooper (left) and Carter (right).


Contributed photo

XENIA — Longtime Xenia resident Greg Paxson knows all about the spirit of giving.

He’s been around children of all ages for the last forty years and has come to embody the essence of Santa Claus, the beloved figure children and adults love and admire during the holiday season, having appeared as him at events in Greene County for decades.

“I’m a kid at heart and I love Christmas time,” said Paxson. “I like seeing the joy in the kids faces, I like seeing the light in their eyes.”

Paxson was on the receiving side of gift giving Wednesday when he received a notice that Christmas Day in Xenia will be known as “Greg Paxson Day”, according to a proclamation by Xenia Mayor Sarah Mays.

He unexpectedly received a visit from Ryan Baker, Community Development Coordinator for Xenia, and Christina Schaefer, the city’s Public Relations Coordinator, at his home on Wednesday. They came baring gifts and brought with them the proclamation from Mays.

It read in part, “Through his service to the community, especially when donning a red suit and hat, he exercised gentleness and patience, listened to the pleas of countless children and brought joy, laughter, and cheer to all.” The mayor went on to proclaim Christmas Day, Sunday, December 25, 2022, as “Greg Paxson Day”.

Paxson, 63, said he was truly thankful and humbled by the visit and said the proclamation was “totally unexpected.”

He says he started his Santa journey with rented suits and cheap wigs and beards, but eventually graduated to custom Santa suits and boots and gets his hair, eye brows, and beard professionally dyed white every season. He’s had to buy several pairs of Santa boots over the years and leather belts to complete his ensemble.

Some of his first appearances as the “sprightly old elf” were as the Greene County Parks and Recreation Santa at James Ranch Park for many years before he branched out to hospitals, nursing homes and more locations.

In his quest to be the perfect Santa, Paxson has attended the Charles W. Howard Santa School in Michigan a record four times.

“The school is three days long, we rise early in the morning and stay up late, it’s like a brotherhood,” said Paxson. “We have social time together, we sit and talk. We learn about St. Nicholas, reindeers from around the world, such as Rudolph started in 1959, and many other fun facts.”

Paxson said he thinks one of the best additions to the holiday season are the Santa parades which occur in several major cities.

He lives by a certain Santa slogan which goes, “Santa doesn’t come down the chimney, he comes through your heart.”

“Being Santa has been a big part of me and my adult life,” Paxson said.

Noting that he has been involved in dozens of City of Xenia events, such as the recent Christmas Station event that was held on Dec. 2, he believes he has received the heartfelt wishes of thousands of children who have bared their souls over the years.

“I like to see little kids happy,” he said. “Girls still ask for Barbies and boys ask for an XBox or a Nintendo. Bikes are still popular. And yes, kids still ask for ponies. If they are sick, I tell them that Mrs. Claus and I will pray for them.”

Having been at his Santa duties for years, he hopes to continue on with them, barring any outstanding health issues, for many years to come, hoping to proclaim a Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

“I want folks to remember that Santa is real and he lives through each one of us,” said Paxson – er – Santa. “The spirit of giving keeps us all young at heart.”

Greg Paxson, pictured during an event at Days of Discovery in Beavercreek Township on Dec. 16, has played Santa Claus for the greater Xenia community and beyond for numerous years. He was presented with a proclamination on Wednesday from Xenia mayor Sarah Mays that Dec. 25 will be known as “Greg Paxson Day”.
https://www.xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2022/12/web1_CMYKeditedIMG_9034.jpegGreg Paxson, pictured during an event at Days of Discovery in Beavercreek Township on Dec. 16, has played Santa Claus for the greater Xenia community and beyond for numerous years. He was presented with a proclamination on Wednesday from Xenia mayor Sarah Mays that Dec. 25 will be known as “Greg Paxson Day”. Contributed photo

Paxson has received the requests of countless children during his time as Santa Claus, as he did in this photo during an event at Xenia Station on Dec. 2.
https://www.xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2022/12/web1_3.jpgPaxson has received the requests of countless children during his time as Santa Claus, as he did in this photo during an event at Xenia Station on Dec. 2. File Photo

Paxson is pictured with his grandchildren Hooper (left) and Carter (right).
https://www.xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2022/12/web1_CMYKIMG_2985.jpgPaxson is pictured with his grandchildren Hooper (left) and Carter (right). Contributed photo
Dec. 25 to be known as ‘Greg Paxson Day’

By Karen Rase

[email protected]

Reach Karen Rase at 937-502-4534.

Reach Karen Rase at 937-502-4534.