Gallion spreads Christmas cheer

Published 11:25 am Wednesday, December 6, 2017

When he’s not filling the role of Santa Claus, he’s busy riding motorcycles and hanging out with his family.

“I’m very family oriented,” Michael Gallion said. “I’m always doing stuff with my family. I ride a motorcycle, but just spending time with them I enjoy the most.”

He said his mother lives down the road from him, and he sees her every day, as well as his great-nephew, Mitch Green.

Gallion has lived in Lunenburg County all of his life. He started working with the Victoria Police Department in 1986 after spending four years in the military. After working for the department for years as a town sergeant, he decided to work for the railroad in 1998. He said he has had a lot of family and seen much of the community work at the railroad, and that is what influenced him to make the change. Gallion still works part time at the department.

He took up the role of Santa Claus years ago.

“I do it for the ‘Small Town Christmas’ here in Victoria, and I’m going to be in the Christmas Parade this year,” Gallion said.

Small Town Christmas takes place Saturday.

“I had a relative that had a baby, like, right before Christmas, and being an infant that young, they didn’t want to go to a mall,” Gallion said. “… So I borrowed

a suit and went over there and dressed up so they could get their first Christmas with Santa just so many days old. It just kind of fell in line after that.”

He said there’s a lot of preparation that goes into it.

“I don’t use a wig or a beard or whatever,” Gallion said. “I have my own, and it takes a couple (of) hours to get ready for what I have to do,” Gallion said.

He said he ended up buying his own suit and came up with the idea of Small Town Christmas.

“I figured that I know how hard it is for families to go to the malls and this, that and the other,” Gallion said. “So I had this concept where local people could come by, and they could take their own pictures — it wouldn’t cost them anything.”

He said eventually some people wanted to know if there would be a photographer.

“So we do have a photographer there if they want a professional picture,” Gallion said. “If they don’t, they can use their own phone or anything like that.”

He said it created something for the community that didn’t require people to drive a significant distance just to get a picture with Santa.

“As far as me, I’ve done it, and I have a great-nephew (Green) that has helped me and a lot of family members who dress up as elves,” Gallion said.

A lot of Gallion’s family lives in Lunenburg.

“I’m not married; I just have great-nephews and nieces, and all of them live around here Gallion said.