Chris Claus lives in East Tennessee

By: Stephen McLamb
By: Stephen McLamb

Knoxville (WVLT) - You've all heard of Kris Kringle. You've also all heard of Santa Claus.

Knoxville has it's very own Chris Claus. Who much like the real guy, spent the day making deliveries.

Volunteer TV's Stephen McLamb spent part of the day following the man around who some believe could be a relative of the real Santa Claus.

Twas the day before Christmas, and all through the neighborhood, deliveries were being made. Not by Kris Kringle or Santa Claus, but Chris Claus.

"That's Chris Claus? That's him. Well...that's cool," resident Jessica Brooks said.

"That's a good name. Can't go wrong with that name," said Donnie Evans, who was surprised to see Chris Claus.

"So we've got Chris Claus over here delivering on Greenleaf on Christmas Eve. That's pretty amazing," resident Bob Grimac said.

But it's a name you've got to ask why any parent would give to their child.

"I could never get a straight answer from them on that. I asked, Why did you name me that? They said we liked the name," Claus said.

Chris Claus says his name has been the source of a lot of talk ever since he began school.

"Crisscross, Kris Kringle, Santa Claus, Christopher Columbus, you name it, it was there," Claus said.

Chris makes his deliveries before Christmas every year and sometimes gets confused for the real deal.

"When my dog started barking Rodney was like, That's Santa. So we all running...it's like...where at?" resident Tammy Coleman said.

"He's got some features that look like the real thing. He looks like he might be a relative, an east Tennessee relative," Grimac said.

"I was like, where is our turkey?" Coleman said.

Chris Claus says he sometimes gets serious calls at home.

"The one that I always liked was the little boy who called because his brother was sick so he called trying to make sure his little brother got his Christmas presents," Claus said.

Unlike Santa, Chris Claus doesn't deliver presents this time of year ....he delivers the new ATT&T phone book.

"That's a good, I guess, a good Christmas gift you know. I mean, some people aren't going to get anything. I guess a phone book will work," Brooks said.

While he sometimes has a problem with his sleigh, a Ford pickup, Chris Claus says he will not be landing on any homes to deliver phone books.

"I make sure I hit every house, every one to the door where it's supposed to go. Can't quite get them down the chimney really," Claus said.

Unlike Santa who can deliver toys to all of the areas children in a single night, Chris Claus says he probably won't be able to finish getting all the new phone books out until mid January.


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