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Committed to the Claus

“Well, what would you like for Christmas?”

It’s a question Bill Asher has asked thousands of kids as they plop down on his lap, eager to tell him about their hearts’ desires.

Asher, a flooring sales associate at the Lowe’s in Mt. Pocono, Pennsylvania, has spent the last 15 years appearing as Santa Claus at events across New Jersey and Pennsylvania. From tree lighting ceremonies to mall appearances, Bill dons his big beard and red hat to keep kids happy during the holidays.

“I love making people happy.”

A bike, a doll house, concert tickets – Bill’s heard it all.

“I’ve had a woman ask for a rich husband,” he laughed. “I just told her that I’m not Cupid.”

However, one simple answer to his, “What would you like for Christmas?” question tugged at his heart more than the rest. An answer that reminded him of the true meaning of Christmas spirit.

“I had a little girl ask me for a bed and a doll for Christmas,” Bill said. “I asked if it was a bed for the doll and she said no. She wanted a bed and a doll because she had to sleep in her mother’s bed because she didn’t have her own bed.”

For the next six days, Bill became more like Santa than he ever had before. He visited area businesses to see if he could help this little girl get her Christmas wish. ‘Santa’ was able to get a mattress, bed frame, pillows, box spring, comforter, sneakers and of course a doll.  In all he raised over $1,500 of items for the girl and her mother.

“The little girl was so ecstatic and happy,” he said. “The mother confided in me that she didn’t know what she was going to do because she had nothing for her daughter for Christmas. I told her to be willing to let people know she needs help because you never know when or where help will come. I am sure the little girl believes in Santa and maybe now even the mother does too.”