If you live in a suburban neighborhood, you’ve probably seen your fair share of inflatable Christmas decorations.

Jim Simon, of Lancaster, is responsible for at least one of them. He owns a giant inflatable Santa. But as inflatable owners know, a little wind can wreak a lot of havoc on these holiday decorations.

When Santa wouldn’t stay upright and safely tied down in his yard, Simon tried tucking him on his front porch. Then in the bed of his truck. One particularly gusty night, Simon even took Santa inside.

Simon thought he and his daughter Lindsey, a junior at Stone Independent School, were the only ones getting a kick out of their transient Santa. He was wrong.

“It was a running joke between us, but what we didn’t realize was that some of the younger kids in the neighborhood began to look for where Santa will pop up next,” Simon said in an email.

Simon’s wife, Michelle, posted a few pictures on Facebook, further expanding this nomadic Santa’s audience.

“Lindsey and I thought we really needed to take it to the next level — our ‘Tour de Santa,’ ” Simon said.

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The Simon Family's inflatable Santa in Steinman Park. 

One recent Friday, Simon and his daughter packed up Santa, a converter to power the inflatable’s fan and an extension cord. Santa was about to be on the move. They took him to Lancaster city landmarks, like Central Market, Penn Square and the Amtrak station. They also made a few house calls to friends, too.

“Universally, people were excited, and in each place we set Santa up, people were enthusiastic,” Simon said. “Some folks were cheering and taking their own pictures with Santa. Why not? Santa’s for us all!”


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