Mrs. Claus set to land at St. James Welcome Center in Gramercy Dec. 1

Published 11:12 am Saturday, November 23, 2013



LAPLACE — Movies and television shows often seem to portray the holiday season as a time of unconditional joy for all.
Carrie Guidry knows that’s not how things are in real life, but she’s doing what she can to help that. She’ll be portraying Mrs. Claus as a volunteer at a variety of events this year, including the second annual Crazy ‘Bout History’s A Very Cajun Christmas event on Dec. 1 at the St. James Welcome Center.
Guidry portrayed Mrs. Claus for the first time last year and said it was something she had in the back of her mind for a long time.
“It’s something I always wanted to do,” said Guidry, who lives in Grand Point. “I’d put it on the backburner. It was so much fun. On television and in the movies, everyone is happy and jovial during the holidays, but that’s not real.
“So if I can help put a smile on anyone’s face and help someone find the Christmas spirit, it’s worth it to me.”
This will be Guidry’s first year as part of the Crazy ‘Bout History event. She said she wanted to be a part of it a year ago.
“I like it because it’s local,” said Guidry. “I live right here. I was just out of time last year so I couldn’t do it, but this year I’m able. I called and when it was available, I jumped at the chance.”
Guidry doesn’t charge for the portrayal — she said the feeling she gets from seeing the smiles of the children who come to see her serves as more than enough of a reward.
“You just get a warm and fuzzy feeling inside,” she said. “The way people respond, especially the children, it’s kind of unbelievable, really.
“I don’t accept money. It’s not a job. It’s just what I want to do. It makes people happy, and that makes me feel good inside.”
Children aren’t the only ones that feel her positive impact.
“Last year, I had the chance to visit a nursing home. Walking into their rooms … when they see you dressed up, it brings back childhood memories for them,” Guidry said. “People just respond to you.”
Guidry’s first “Mrs. Claus” portrayal of the season will be at “A Very Cajun Christmas.” She’ll also be paying visits to the Festival of the Bonfires, the Boys and Girls clubs and to local hospitals.
“A Very Cajun Christmas” will be from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 1. Traditional Cajun gumbo dinners will be sold. There will be story telling and shops to purchase sweets and crafts, There will also be a handmade ornament contest for children.
Crazy ‘Bout History will also be accepting donations for the St. James Parish Government Human Resources Toy and Coat Drive. One may bring his or her donation for children from infant age to 12 years old to the event. For more info, one may call 1-225-869-3169 or 1-225-869-8148.