In the Wisdom home, memories are collected. Amanda Wisdom of McKinney says she has a story for nearly every ornament and every collectible in her living room. Some things mean a lot more to her and the family than many would think.
"It's her childhood, all those memories," Wisdom said referring to the 16 photos of Santa with her daughter Alyssa. The pictures are held up by a clip and strung up on the mantle of the fireplace.
Alyssa's pictures with Santa measured every moment of her life. There are pictures from the time she was one year old to even last year. There seemed to be one constant in all those photos: the man many locally referred to as "The Big Guy."
"That's when we fell in love with him. That's when we knew he was our Santa," Wisdom said.
He was everyone's Santa here at the Fairvew Town Center. He was a man who brought joy and made it a moment for Alyssa every year on the same day.
"Out of all the children, 'Oh yeah! I remember you' I've seen you for 16 years,'" Alyssa recalled. Her Santa is who Alyssa always imagined: spirited, thick-bearded, and right about her being on the nice list.
"Two different times I asked for a mouse, and another time I asked for world peace," Alyssa laughed.
Mom had to go searching for Santa because as she recalls he had moved from mall to mall at least 3 to 4 times. "He wasn't gonna get away from me that easy," Amanda said.
His latest stop was Fairview and many simply knew him as "The Big Guy," and that was enough. Sources told WFAA that he spent time at Stonebriar and Allen as well.
The Fairview Town Center broke the unfortunate news on Facebook about the passing of the man who donned the suit and delighted many children. It prompted hundreds of memorable photos with him and the beautiful stories that come with it.
"For kids, it's the magic and he definitely emulated that perfectly," Amanda said.
An account has been set up to help the family.