Santa sparks impromptu marriage ceremony

Chaplain Virginia Howell and Santa Claus pose with the newlyweds outside the Harris County Sheriff's Office dispatch center in downtown Houston.

December 20, 2013 2:37:57 PM PST
Harris County Sheriff's Office Chaplain Virginia Howell and Santa Claus peformed an impromptu marriage ceremony for a couple today outside of the HCSO's dispatch center in downtown Houston.

Chaplain Howell and Santa had just visited with the dispatchers and call takers and handed out holiday treats. As they were leaving the building, they ran into a young couple pushing a baby in a stroller. The couple asked if they could have the baby's picture taken with Santa. Santa happily obliged, of course.

The couple said they were headed to the courthouse to try and find someone to officiate a marriage ceremony for free since they didn't have the $40 fee that someone else had asked of them. Ordained Chaplain Howell offered to perform the ceremony right then and there at no cost.

The couple gladly accepted and the impromptu marriage ceremony was performed in the sally port outside of 1301 Franklin away from the rain. Several call takers outside on their break served as witnesses, along with Santa, who is also an ordained chaplain volunteering with the HCSO.

Everyone hugged and Chaplain Howell signed the couple's wedding certificate. Here's to a "happily ever after" for the newlyweds!

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