Utah school bus driver becomes Santa each holiday season

Don Fitch poses for a portrait in his bus on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, in American Fork, Utah. Fitch has driven school buses for the Alpine School District for the past four years. Every year around Christmas, he decorates the bus’s interior with Christmas decorations, plays Christmas music and dresses up as Santa. (Evan Cobb /The Daily Herald via AP)

Don Fitch sits at the wheel of bus on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, in American Fork, Utah. Fitch has driven school buses for the Alpine School District for the past four years. Every year around Christmas, he decorates the bus’s interior with Christmas decorations, plays Christmas music and dresses up as Santa. (Evan Cobb /The Daily Herald via AP)

A bus that Don Fitch drives is decorated for Christmas on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017 in American Fork, Utah. "I've been decking the halls a bit at a time," Don Fitch said. He has driven school buses for the Alpine School District for the past four years. Every year around Christmas, he decorates the bus’s interior with Christmas decorations, plays Christmas music and dresses up as Santa. (Evan Cobb /The Daily Herald via AP)

Bus driver Don Fitch delivers candy canes to other Alpine School District transportation staff on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017 in American Fork, Utah. Fitch has driven school buses for the Alpine School District for the past four years. Every year around Christmas, he decorates the bus’s interior with Christmas decorations, plays Christmas music and dresses up as Santa. (Evan Cobb /The Daily Herald via AP)

PROVO, Utah (AP) — Hoping to share some Christmas cheer with students on their way to and from school, a Utah bus driver decorates his yellow vehicle and dons a Santa Claus outfit each holiday season.

Don Fitch was dressed in the red suit and the bushy white beard as he transported students on his Alpine School District bus on Tuesday.

“It makes me feel good to see the Christmas spirit spread a little,” Fitch told the Daily Herald of Provo.

Topped with Rudolph’s red nose and decked with the decor and tunes of the season, bus 834 took kindergarten students to schools in Pleasant Grove, Orem and American Fork. This has been an annual tradition for Fitch, who began driving for the district four years ago.

“I just like having fun with it,” Fitch said. “I’m the first face they see in the morning and the last face they see at night. I can either make or break it for them.”

For the children who don’t believe in Santa, Fitch said the jolly old man represents the qualities that children can take to heart.

“Santa may not be a real person, but he’s the spirit that lives inside of us that makes us kinder, more gentle, and in that aspect, Santa is real,” Fitch said.

Fitch said he plans to continue this tradition.

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Information from: The Daily Herald, http://www.heraldextra.com

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