Where I Live: When not at North Pole, Santa lives in Westcliff neighborhood

dfwnewsa | December 24, 2023 | 0 | Fort Worth , Fort Worth News

Where I Live: When not at North Pole, Santa lives in Westcliff neighborhood

Kent Hagood is a fourth-generation Tarrant County resident living in the Westcliff neighborhood. (Courtesy photo | Kent Hagood)
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By Kent Hagood

Spoiler Alert! Don’t let young children read this article.

Wait, Santa doesn’t live in the North Pole? Say it ain’t so!  

Well, this Santa has split his time making toys at the North Pole over the last 40 years with a home in the Westcliff neighborhood, one block south of Texas Christian University.

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Five blocks from his current residence is where the future Santa, also known as Kent Hagood, remembers spending time with his grandparents. Houses in that area were built in the 1940s. Hagood had three of his grandparents living in the area. His wife, Katherine, had two grandparents living in Fort Worth. 

When asked if he likes his job, the Westcliff Santa said, “Are you kidding? I mean, Santa models the values of love, joy and giving to admiring eyes and hugs from precious children. The practice of Christmas giving comes from the example of the Wise Men on the first Christmas and, of course, God’s gift of his son Jesus to be born as a child. What’s not to love?” 

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Kent Hagood owns a business called My Santa Guy, where he is invited to work at museums or photography events in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. (Photo courtesy | Kent Hagood)

However, there is one thing that Santa doesn’t love. He hates taking credit for the generosity of the children’s parents as they make Christmas wishes come true. 

Necessary for the job, but if you think about it, not very Santa-like. 

When Hagood portrays Santa, he goes all the way. Hagood has been Santa for the past five years. He has been trained by three members of the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame. Yes, that is a thing. 

He has custom suits, boots and belts and has become quite a children’s storyteller about everything from flying reindeer, to elves and fairies and, of course, the historic Nicholas of Myra whose faith and generosity started the Santa tradition.

Blend that big white beard with storytelling and red suits with white fur and quite a lot of children are convinced they met “the real Santa.”

By the way, Santa tells me that he isn’t really magical; he just hangs out with fairies and elves who are. Everything from a magic key, magic ring, Rudolph’s red nose, or the sleigh driver’s staff, all become a quick story, often with a character-building twist, and don’t even get him started on Nicholas. What a guy!

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Despite the North Pole’s responsibilities, to say that Westcliff is really home would be an understatement.  

Kent Hagood and his wife, Katherine, are both fourth-generation Tarrant County residents. The two live in the Westcliff neighborhood. (Photo courtesy | Kent Hagood)

Hagood is a fourth-generation resident of Tarrant County. His great-grandfather homesteaded property west of town off Silver Creek Road. His grandfather was a cattle buyer in the Stockyards and he lived away from Fort Worth for only two years for work after college.  

His wife, Katherine, is also a fourth-generation Tarrant County resident. Her great-grandfather owned the horse and mule barns on Exchange Avenue in the Stockyards, now known as Mule Alley, and you can still barely see his name across the back wall of the building in very faded paint: “W.O. Rominger & Co. Horses and Mules.”  

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He and Katherine raised five children in that home in the TCU area, and the last two were actually born in that house! Now they have six grandchildren and one on the way that is due Christmas Day. They love having grandchildren visit “Mimi’s house,” just as they both did with their grandparents in the very same neighborhood.  

In short, a lifetime in Fort Worth has been very good for generations.

Westcliff

Total population: 3,389Female: 48% | Male: 52%

Age0-9: 7%10-19: 14%20-29: 27%30-39: 15%40-49: 8%50-59: 11%60-69: 13%70-79: 4%80 and older: 2%

EducationNo degree: 7%High school: 6%Some college: 23%Bachelor’s degree: 42%Post-graduate: 23%

RaceWhite: 67% | Asian: 2% | Hispanic: 24% | Black: 0% | Two or more: 3%

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