For 42 Christmas seasons, a man named Mike Howard would dress up as Santa Claus and spend the holiday delivering thousands of gifts to some of the poorest families in Kentucky.

After Howard lost his battle against cancer and passed away last year, his son decided to honor his father’s legacy by taking over the persona of ‘Mountain Santa’ — and continuing the holiday tradition in their beloved Harlan County.

Jordan has been wrapping and decorating Christmas gifts in his workshop near (the aptly-named) Santa Lane since October. With his ongoing fundraising efforts, he believes he will have about 4,000 presents to dole out over the holidays.

“I’d say we got over 1,000 right now—and it’s just midway through,” he told WYMT in the interview below. “It’s a feeling that you can’t describe. You don’t think that a community would come together like they have to keep doing this, but it’s just awesome. It’s just amazing.”

Jordan and his crew of community elves are aiming to embark on their first gift delivery run on December 14th.

(WATCH the heartwarming news coverage below) – Photo by WYMT

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