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Local Santa Spreads Cheer Without Favorite Helper

One local Santa is loved by many for his cheer and truly good deeds. But this year, Santa and his wife have a Christmas wish of their own. WFMZ's Dwayne Parker has their emotional story.


News video:

Dwayne Parker

>> REPORTER: For seven years Santa has illuminated his home on the 1300 block of Cotton Street in Reading.

>> KEITH MCCULLEY: Yeah, definitely there's going to be more next year.

>> REPORTER: Equipped with his little elf and some candy, he brings joy to many.

>> REPORTER: Now since the front of Santa's home is decorated with more than 40,000 lights, he ran out of space. So what did he do? He moved on to his neighbors.

>> REPORTER: Delores LeBarre's home went dark every Christmas until Santa came along.

>> DELORES LEBARRE: You ever need a decorator, he's available. He likes to do that stuff.

>> REPORTER: But this year Santa was forced to decorate without one of his favorite helpers - his son, LCPL Brandon McCulley, currently stationed on the front lines in Afghanistan.

>> KEITH MCCULLEY: We miss him, we really miss him a lot ..

>> REPORTER: Brandon's parents say their son decided to become a Marine after the U.S. was attacked on Sept. 11 ... Brandon was 12 then. Years later, his mother, Terry, still remembers when Brandon was shipped to boot camp - it was Mother's Day.

>> TERRY: Of all days, you know it could have been any other day, but on Mother's Day it was really gut- wrenching, you know? So I remember that every Mother's Day, the day that he left home to be a man.

>> REPORTER: So as Brandon's proud mother plans to hand her son's gifts off to the U.S. postal Service, and his proud father is determined to spread cheer... don't think for a moment they don't have Christmas wishes of their own.

>> KEITH: To have my son come back home. It would be nice to see him walk through that door at 12 o'clock it'd be awesome.

>> TERRY: To see him, to hold him, to hug him. But I know that's the sacrifices that we have to make.

>> REPORTER: Santa and his wife say they are patient people, waiting, as the jolly lights of Cotton Street, shine on. In Reading, Dwayne Parker, 69 News.