Truck driver Todd Daum finds and spreads joy as Santa

Updated Dec 23, 2022

Joy is not just spread during the busy holiday season. Truck driver, Todd Daum brings joy to others all year long as he plays the natural role of ‘Santa’.

Daum began his truck driving career for the re department. As a member of the department, he was not allowed to grow a beard. After working multiple jobs and gaining a better sense of different industries, “it was a logical step to get out of doing the other jobs and go into trucking,” said the Ohio native. Daum, a driver for Cliff Side Transportation, started growing a beard once he began his new role and shortly after started getting called ‘Santa’.

Daum is a long-haul truck driver and spends most of his time delivering loads in the eastern U.S. His loads occasionally take him to Texas. Along his routes, he’s become recognized as a Santa lookalike.

Santa in front of his truckTodd Daum a.k.a. SantaIt brings happiness to others when they see Daum at a truck stop, warehouse, or while he is driving. “Everybody calls me Santa, even the shippers and receivers I’ve never been to,” Daum shared. “They say to look for the guy that looks like Santa Claus. It has become a way of describing me.”

Daum recollects many moments when he stopped to take a break at a truck stop and someone approached him. “There was one time I was sitting in a truck stop taking a break, and a young girl walked up and said, ‘Hi Santa.’” Daum was in his work attire and not in Santa mode. He found himself immediately switching into his Santa role and carrying on the conversation with the young girl.

“Her brother came up and I was talking to him,” Daum said. “Their mom was standing there grinning from ear to ear.” Daum takes time out of his day to speak with kids who come up to him to make sure they continue to believe in Santa. It brings joy to the children, and it makes him happy too.

Daum doesn’t mind when others approach him when he's out. “I’ve had parents walk up to me and ask to record a message for their children”, said Daum. He sits at the truck stop and records a short message to the parent’s children when he is asked. “It brings joy to families and makes someone happy,” said Daum. 

Santa Daum visits several country clubs, private events, and family events during the holiday season. He purchased an expensive velvet Santa suit to make it the real deal. “I don’t have to worry about a beard or anything because I have my own beard,” he said. “Kids can tug on my beard and mustache all they want.”

It’s enjoyable for Daum to play the role of Santa at family events. “I know the families and they give me the background information I can throw at the children,” Daum said. “It really brings everything home for them.

“I have done the outdoor shopping outlet mall in Cincinnati, Ohio just to walk around and spread cheer,” Daum mentioned. “I will sit down beside somebody on a bench and tell them to get out their phone to take an elfie."

Daum plans his Santa event schedule far in advance to make sure he can get home in time for those gigs. His trucking career has given him the opportunity to see the country and continue to get products to the right destination.