People named Santa, Grinch and George Bailey enjoy the fun of Christmas


Hundreds of children were calling their home around Christmas believing it was the North Pole after finding Santa’s family number in the phone book.

The Grinch family are often asked if they are considering stealing Christmas.

Seconds after hearing their name, the Griswolds expect smirks or almost inevitable quotes from National Lampoon’s popular Christmas holiday movie.

And when George Bailey sends emails, people often respond in disbelief, asking if he’s the character in the legendary movie It’s a Wonderful Life.

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They are a sample of the thousands who live all year round with the comments that come with names related to the holidays, but they hear about it over Christmas.

Sometimes it’s a curse, but most of the time it’s a blessing or something they’re having fun with.

Names are the ultimate conversation starter and a way to meet people who would never have engaged with them otherwise.

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If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be named after Santa Claus or a Christmas villain or famous holiday movie character, here are four people who will give you an idea:

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Sheila Santa was in preschool when she first realized that her last name was popular with other children.

His parents were originally from Hungary and didn’t care much for Santa’s name, but were apostolic Christians and celebrated Christmas.

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The couple listed their family number in the public phone book and for years Sheila has helped answer children’s calls.

She pretended to be Santa’s secretary and said he was busy in the toy workshop.

Or pretend you’re an elf and tell them it’s time to take Rudolph for a walk.

Or tell them she was part of Santa’s family here in Ohio.

And for the few teenage jokes, Sheila would tell them that they were on the bad guy list and they only got smut for Christmas.

Dr Sheila Santa wears Grinch-themed shoes during a performance by the Santa Presents Music String Quartet on December 21.

“I’ll never forget my mom answered those calls first and then I started taking them,” said Sheila Santa, Columbus family physician for Equitas Health and Grant Family Medicine Residency. “These kids would be so excited. Having this last name is always something that I have appreciated.

Sheila also enjoys being Dr. Santa. She worked as an OB-GYN and delivered around 200 babies, but there is one in particular that Sheila will never forget.

She was assigned to the OB team on Christmas Day while working at a hospital in Oregon.

During that shift, Dr. Santa delivered a baby boy to someone she was working with as part of the residency program.

“Being Dr Santa and delivering a baby on Christmas was special,” said Santa.

She said the typical reaction is disbelief when she first tells people her name. But in December, the reaction intensifies and people keep asking, “Did you say Dr Santa?” … Like Santa Claus?

Dr Sheila Santa says the typical reaction is disbelief when she says her name to people for the first time, especially at Christmas.

Sheila is also a violinist and adopted the name Santa Claus in this part of her life by launching a string quartet called Santa Presents, which performs at weddings, parties and other public events.

“I’ve always liked my name,” she says. “And the joy it brings to others.”

Living with Grinch: family embraces the family name party

When Becky Blaser started dating her boyfriend Alex at Mount Union College about 20 years ago, she knew there might be a bit of a problem if they ever got married, especially during the holidays.

And her older brothers wouldn’t let her forget that she was dating a boy named Grinch.

But Becky decided Alex was worth it, and 18 years ago, she officially became Becky Grinch.

The couple joke again that maybe they should have taken Becky’s maiden name.

“I actually like our last name,” said Ms. Grinch, 41. “It’s a good icebreaker when you meet people. While on vacation, why fight him when, it’s a lot more fun to kiss him.

Alex Grinch is the well-known college football coach who was the defensive coordinator of the Ohio State University football team before moving on to coaching at the University of Oklahoma and more recently working in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California.

Tyler and Corbi Grinch posed with the famous Christmas villain last year.  Their parents are Alex and Becky Grinch.

The family, which includes 10-year-old daughter Corbi and 12-year-old son Tyler, meet many new people on their travels.

Wherever they go, they are sure to have a reaction to their last name.

And Becky isn’t shying away from it.

There are Grinch signs and decorations around the house.

She dressed the kids in Grinch pajamas and t-shirts.

The return address for family Christmas cards even has the green Christmas villain.

So when another person asks the family if they’re going to steal Christmas, or if someone at one of the college football games is dressed like the Grinch, they’re ready to go.

“With Alex’s job, there are always jokes about the defense,” Becky said. “I guess if people are going to draw attention to him, we might as well own him first.”

Waiting for a smile: Bob Griswold loves National Lampoon jokes

Seconds after telling someone their last name is Griswold, a smile will follow and sometimes all famous lines from the iconic National Lampoon Christmas Vacation or other Family Vacation movie series.

“I don’t know what to say, but it’s Christmas and we’re all in dire straits”

“We are going to have the happiest of Christmases. “

“Hallelujah? Saint # $% @. Where’s the Tylenol?”

“What is it? A letter confirming your reservation in the nut house?”

“I’m sorry, this is our family’s first kidnapping.”

Bob Griswold has heard them all since the Griswold film series first appeared in theaters in 1983. The films feature Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) and his family, whose attempts to enjoy vacations and vacations are plagued by disasters and difficult situations.

Bob still finds the moves and all the lines funny, but not as funny as the reaction he always gets to his famous movie name.

“One of the movies was the other night and I sent my boys a picture and they texted all the lines,” said Griswold, 75, who has lived in Cincinnati for 40 years but is now retired as an engineer and general manager and lives in Bradenton, Florida with his wife, Bobbie. “I’m not exactly like Clark Griswold, but everyone should know that we are putting up Christmas lights and celebrating pretty well.”

Bob and Bobbie, who have two sons and two grandchildren, heard Griswold’s first joke from a truck driver as they traveled on the Interstate in Bob’s home state of Connecticut. Bobbie was wearing a sweatshirt with the Griswold name on it, and the truck driver kept beeping at them until they finally yelled, “Are you going to Wally World?” which is taken from the first Family Vacation movie.

Whether it’s giving their name to a host at a restaurant, checking in at a hotel, or giving their name to an airline agent when checking in for a flight, the Griswolds can almost always count on some kind of reaction.

Bob still has a bit of Clark in him. Recently he and Bobbie took part in a golf cart parade in their community and he made sure it was decorated with lights.

“Once people get to know you, it’s not that big of a deal,” Bob said. “But when someone hears it after we first meet him, I know the smile comes. It’s just part of Griswold’s life.

A wonderful life: George Bailey relates to the famous alter ego

When his parents decided to call him George Bailey, they hadn’t even seen the famous movie.

It was simply named after a great-grandfather who had the same name as the main character in the famous 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life Christmas.

For those who haven’t seen him, George Bailey is an unlucky savings and loan manager who is reminded by an angel of all the good he’s done in the world.

This real-life George Bailey works in IT for a financial services company in Cleveland. And when he emails those who need his help, there are at least two people every week, and more than that around Christmas, who respond by asking if that’s really his real name.

“I was in elementary school and we were watching It’s a Wonderful Life right before Christmas break,” said Bailey, 39, who has lived in Columbus her entire life until she moved north the year. last. “As soon as the main character said, ‘I’m George Bailey,’ everyone in class turned to me and I said, ‘OK, that’s cool. “”

Bailey said he’s watched the movie dozens of times over the years and can relate to the character in his own way.

Bailey studied theater at Capital University and worked as a professional actor for years, 10 of them with the Columbus Children’s Theater.

He said he was engaged to be married next May, moved to Cleveland to be with his fiance at Case Western Reserve University and ultimately had to give up his acting dreams to get a stable job with benefits. .

He even played the character of George Bailey once as a student during a radio production of the Christmas movie. He thinks his famous name may have helped him win the role.

“We’re both dreamers and we both want huge things in our lives, and I see it in me a lot now,” Bailey said. “I thought I was an actor; I gave up for stability, but I still have these dreams.

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@ MikeWagner48


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