Tuesday, February 27, 2024

“Santa’s House” keeps Christmas spirit and magic alive in Granbury


Santa’s House is an annual tradition in Granbury where Santa and Mrs. Claus visit the community.

Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive in Granbury during the annual Nights of Lights Parade on Nov. 24 and then hop off their sleigh to go to Santa’s House.

This tradition has been around for nine years and is a loved event among the town and visitors from all over. The event has grown from around 100 people to more than 2,700 visitors last year. In total, Santa has visited with more than 26,000 people.

The event was started by Ken and Arlis Holland, who wanted to provide a free place for the public to have a moment of magic with Santa.

“We’re not asking anything from anybody except to come and just have a moment of joy. That’s it,” Arlis Holland said. “We just want to bring the magic. That’s what we’re all about.”

Holland noted the event would not be possible without all the volunteers who help put it on.

With so much growth over the years, the number of volunteers has also continued to grow, which surprises Holland.

“We’re still in shock with the amount of support we have got from this community. It is overwhelming. It truly is amazing,” she expressed with grateful tears.

A lot of prep work goes into making such a large event successful, but Holland says it is all worth it in the end.

Tammy Dooley, director of the Granbury Convention Center and Visitor’s Bureau, described the event as magical.

“We love it and we’re already promoting it and have people already making hotel reservations to come enjoy Christmas in Granbury,” Dooley said.

With so many holiday activities that take place in the town, Dooley says planning is always underway.

“Our job is to be ahead so when the season comes, we have already done all the work leading up to it,” Dooley said.

Holland shared that the lines can be long to see Santa but asks visitors to be patient so everyone will have plenty of time to visit without being rushed.

She encourages people to take pictures with Santa, noting he and Mrs. Claus do not accept tips or gratuity — but Santa does happily accept cookies.

Santa’s House will be open on Thursdays for the first time from 6 to 8 p.m. It will also be open on Fridays from 6 to 8 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., 2 to 4 p.m., and 6 to 8 p.m.; and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.