Published: December 22, 2010
People who happen to be standing outside as the sleigh passes by stare with jaws dropped. Cars actually come to a stop on the main roads as people pull over to stare at this otherworldly vehicle going by. Some get out and run over to get a picture.
"I don't believe it," one man says, rushing over to the parked sleigh with his cell phone camera. "This is cold-blooded!" It was meant as high praise.
Benford loves the attention, lives to give out presents, doesn't break character, and will always stop so someone can take a photo with him or the sleigh. But he seems happiest those times he's able to foster people's simple belief that there really is someone who goes around being nice and giving things to everyone just because it's Christmas.
"I've had people tell me their kids didn't believe in Santa Claus until they saw me, and now they do," he says, proudly, speaking through the curls of his thick, pull-on beard. "It's just great, man."
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