Son continues "Mountain Santa" tradition of giving

Caitlin O'Kane

Some people believe Christmas decorations should go up only after Thanksgiving — but don't tell that to the people on Santa Lane. Jordan Howard, who lives on the street in Harland County, Kentucky, has been decorating and wrapping presents since Halloween.

Howard will soon dress up like Santa Claus and deliver the presents to children he doesn't even know. It's a tradition he calls "Mountain Santa," and it started with his father.

For 42 years, Mike Howard would collect Christmas presents and bring them to children who otherwise might not get any. After he passed away, his son decided to continue the tradition.

Eight months after his dad lost his battle with cancer, Howard's mother died. So this Christmas, he's dressing up like Mountain Santa to honor both of them. "Dad told before he passed, he said you gotta have the Lord in it. So that's what I'm doing," Jordan Howard told CBS affiliate WYMT-TV.

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Thousands of presents fill Jordan Howard's workshop on Santa Lane. He hopes to more than double the number of gifts he gives out. WYMT-TV

As of mid-November, Howard and community members had wrapped about 1,000 presents for children in need — and that's about half the number they will do in total.

"Everything's still coming together," Howard said, adding that he hopes to give out up to 3,500 presents, starting with his first run December 14.

Having the community help him continue this tradition means a lot to Howard. "It's a feeling that you can't describe, you don't think that a community would come together like they have to keep doing this but it's just awesome," he said. "It's something."

So it may be a tad early to get ready for Christmas, but on Santa Lane, it's not just about decorations. It's about continuing a family tradition of giving back. 

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Members of the community help wrap presents.  WYMT-TV

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