Santa Claus costumes stay in the far corner of Ooollee Bricker’s attic at Vintage Ooollee for most of the year, but for the past month they have been in high demand.
Bricker started getting reservations for the costumes in October, and she said she couldn’t have asked for a better season.
“Santa has been in here every day,” she said. “When they bring the costumes in on Tuesday and we clean them, we turn right back around and rent them out the next weekend.”
Fast dry cleaning is one of her secrets to a smooth operation, she said. Stan Martin, the owner of White House Cleaners on Washington Road, picks up the Santa costumes and cleans each one before they get fitted for the next round of renters.
“I couldn’t do it without him,” Bricker said.
Vintage Ooollee has 20 traditional Santa suits, one “old world” costume with a hood and long robe, 13 Mrs. Claus outfits, four Dickens carolers costumes, one Grinch suit and 10 elf costumes in stock.
Jim Brooks was in Ooollee’s store Wednesday picking up his Santa suit. As he inspected the ensemble, he said he was excited about helping to create the magic of Christmas for children.
Brooks has dressed up as Santa for the past few years at a brunch his daughter holds on Christmas Eve. He expects about 15 children to line up to get their pictures taken and whisper wishes.
“It’s a ball,” he said. “How can you deny the kids?”
When Bricker rents out the costumes, they come with a coat, pants, belt, hat, beard, wig and boot toppers. Brooks also wears some old wire-rimmed glasses he found to add more detail to the look.
“I really look like Santa Claus,” he said.