By day, Dana B. Friedman, 63, is a trial attorney at LAW OFFICES OF DANA B. FRIEDMAN downtown. By night, the Kew Gardens resident transforms into ol’ Saint Nick, donating “truckloads of toys” to charities, something he started doing after 9/11 by giving back to first responders’ families.
“I hope the kids get out of it as much as I get out of it,” said Friedman. “The joy is just overwhelming.”
With over 100 Santa appearances this season, Friedman leans into time management. The law comes first, but, “I’ve always been able to adjourn conflicted matters and never have missed an appearance, whether judicially or as Santa,” he said. “It’s something I’m extremely proud of.”
The roles rarely co-mingle, but once, when en route to a charity event, Friedman got a last-minute call to fill in for another attorney. He wore a long black trench coat over his Santa suit, but the judge wasn’t having it and asked him to remove the coat, revealing his signature red and white attire.
“I believe the suit and tie represent respect for the law and quite possibly the judge felt I was not showing proper etiquette and decorum,” said Friedman, who confirmed to the judge he was on his way to a charity event. “I didn’t want to use our philanthropic deeds to be improperly taken into consideration. However, I won the hearing.”
His firm’s paralegals weren’t always on board with his side ho-ho-hustle. Initially, he got mixed reactions from colleagues, but after seeing joyful children at his charity events, “most have seen the light and joined in the fun as elves or Santa’s helpers.”
Friedman has nine Santa suits — one is always in his car for last-minute invitations, and said the Santa gig has made him a better lawyer. “It’s made me a better listener,” he said.
Whenever he wears the Santa garb, though, “I’m the real thing,” he added. “That’s it, period. End of story. I treat it that way.”
entire NY Post article: https://nypost.com/2022/11/27/need-christmas-cash-want-to-spread-joy-get-santa-suited-up/
entire NY Magazine article: https://www.curbed.com/2022/12/santa-claus-ride-along-dana-friedman.html