Christmas in July

by Mike Micklasavage, aka Santa

I started my journey as the Jolly Old Saint Nick about 24 years ago when my beard started to turn white.

I’ve always cherished the Christmas season and when I started playing Santa, I knew that I was chosen to look like this so I could make people happy. Seeing all the children’s smiles, and the adults too, is a feeling I can’t explain.

In 2008, I started setting up on the 15th Ave. beach with a chair and a few decorations. North Wildwood Beach Patrol’s Christmas in July has been my favorite day on the beach for almost 35 years. I wanted to make sure the NWBP had passed by before I would don my Santa hat and shorts, so as not to interfere with their event. Children and adults would come up to me to take pictures for Christmas cards and fond memories.

I continue to do this every year on the 15th Ave. beach with a huge following of parents and adults coming to snap pictures.

In 2012, I was approached by the NWBP and asked if I would be interested in being their official Santa. And so began my relationship with the North Wildwood Beach Patrol. Our first jolly event together was in 2013. Since then, people have set up Christmas trees, dress up in their best holiday beach fashion, play Christmas music, and even exchange gifts and set up catered food.

I’ve had pictures with expectant mothers, followed the next year by their newborns, brides-to-be, 2-week-old babies, and adults up to 102 years old. I’ve watched children grow up, have seen these pictures on Christmas cards and heard that some of these pictures even made it overseas in many other countries like Italy and Poland.

If anyone misses the event, I’m easily found on the 15 Ave. beach throughout the summer with my red bathing suit and yes, I even carry my Santa hat in case someone wants a picture.

It’s all in the smiles and happiness it brings to people that I meet.

Editor Note: In more recent years, Wildwood and Wildwood Crest have joined in on the celebration, making it an Island-wide Christmas in July. 

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