Trucker Todd Daum is a long-haul driver who spends most of his time delivering loads in the eastern U.S. and occasionally to Texas. Along his routes, he’s become known as the Santa lookalike, a natural role the driver finds himself playing year-round.
After working multiple jobs across many industries, Daum says, “it was a logical step to get out of doing the other jobs and go into trucking.” While some of his previous positions prohibited him from growing a beard, shortly after starting a new driving role he started growing his beard out, and quickly started getting called “Santa” most everywhere he went.
“Everybody calls me Santa, even the shippers and receivers I’ve never been to,” Daum shared. “They say to look for the guy that looks like Santa Claus. It has become a way of describing me.”
Feeling the joy that came to others in the presence of Santa, Daum leaned into it. During the holidays, he can often be found visiting country clubs, private events, and family affairs in a high-end velvet Santa suit he purchased to make sure he fully looked like the real deal. “I don’t have to worry about a beard or anything because I have my own beard,” he said. “Kids can tug on my beard and mustache all they want.”
The Santa moniker spreads so much joy that Daum plays into the role year-round. “There was one time I was sitting in a truck stop taking a break, and a young girl walked up and said, ‘Hi Santa.’” Daum was in his work attire and not in his Santa gear, but he quickly brought himself into his character and carried on the conversation with the young girl. “Her brother came up and I was talking to him,” Daum said. “Their mom was standing there grinning from ear to ear.”
When the opportunity arises to make someone happy as Santa, Daum rises to the occasion, often taking time out of his day to speak with kids who come up to him so he can sprinkle some Santa magic into their day. It brings the children joy and makes Daum pretty happy as well.
Santa Daum never minds when others approach him when he’s out. “I’ve had parents walk up to me and ask to record a message for their children,” said Daum. He sits at the truck stop and records a short message to the parents’ children when he is asked. “It brings joy to families and makes someone happy,” he said.
Daum’s Santa event schedule is planned far in advance so he can ensure he’s home in time for those gigs. We could all learn a thing or two about finding and spreading happiness from this man. In his trucking career, he’s had the opportunity to see the country and get products to their destinations, while brightening the days of children and adults in the natural role of Santa