After hundreds of years, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus are making it official – they are getting married and making it legal.
But first they needed a marriage license.
So York County native Fran Bradham and longtime fiancee Jack Mounts, who live in Georgia, went to the York County Probate Court Monday to fill out their marriage license application – fully decked out as Santa and Mrs. Claus.
“People pulled out their cellphones and started taking pictures – they just loved Santa and Mrs. Claus filling out the forms to get married,” Bradham said. “We brought them ornaments.”
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Stunned probate court staffers had seen just about everything over the years, but never Santa and his bride.
“I believe it is a first, certainly in my five years here,” chuckled Probate Judge Carolyn Rogers.
This couple, together six years, buys thousands of toys each year and gives them away as part of their good works. They sing Christmas carols, too.
“We love doing it,” Mounts said.
Eleven months of the year, Bradham and Mounts work together in the stress management division of the Department of Homeland Security. But during the past six Christmas seasons, they have put on their Claus costumes and spread cheer all over the place – including here in York County, where Bradham was raised.
Last year, after Piedmont Medical Center’s Santa Claus for decades had gone to the great North Pole in the sky, the couple happened to be at the hospital to visit a relative, and the next thing they knew, they were spreading good cheer at the Rock Hill hospital.
The couple was such a hit that they returned to PMC and a rehabilitation center on Monday, lighting up the lives of dozens of sick patients.
After spreading more good cheer this week, the jolly couple will undertake one last event. Rock Hill Municipal Judge Ray Long – a Baptist preacher with a white beard of his own and more than a passing resemblance to the jolly old elf himself – will marry the pair of Clauses in a ceremony at Union Baptist Church in Filbert.
They will be married for “better” – because with Santa and Mrs. Claus, there’s no need to worry about “for worse.”
Andrew Dys: 803-329-4065