GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Some Gulfport residents had their mail delivered by a man wearing a red suit and a big smile.
With Christmas just around the corner, the Gulfport Postal Service needed a little help getting those last minute Christmas gifts delivered. So, of course, they had to call the fastest man around - Mr. Claus himself.
"I've taken a day off from working up there and I just thought I'd come down to Gulfport and help the postal carriers down here deliver a little mail," said Santa Claus.
He wasn't able to visit all the homes and businesses in Gulfport, he just stepped in for postal worker Kerry Hamilton. Claus has been taking over Hamilton's route for just one day the past seven years, and folks like Wayne May were pleasantly surprised when they received their mail.
"I was quite honored when I found out he had come from the North Pole just for me and my mail. I was really astounded," said May.
Santa said he really enjoys helping the post office every year. And it's easy for him, because he's used to speedy delivery. He knows where everyone lives, but he'll never trade in his sleigh for the mail truck.
"I like the toys, that's always fun to watch the kids' faces. The mail's great. That's maybe why I do it once a year for the post office, but I prefer delivering the toys," said Claus.
As he was making his final stops, Santa was greeted with smiles and cheers, everyone happy to see him a couple of days early. But children don't worry, he said all the toys are made, and he left special orders with the elves at the North Pole to finish up any last minute gifts while he was away.