Palm Coast People: She Is All About Christmas Joy All Year Long

It’s the first part of December and Kerri Henderson is long past putting up her Christmas tree, decorating the inside and outside of her home and taking on some of Santa’s work in making a list and checking it twice.
To say the Palm Coast resident loves the Christmas holiday is an understatement describing the glee and joy she finds in celebrating the holiday.
“Christmas has been my thing ever since I was little,” Henderson gushed. “My Mom would take down everything in the house – all the normal house décor came off the walls. And everything Christmas would go up. People used to tease her that Christmas threw up in the house.”
But, as Henderson readily admits, she does the same thing.
When Palm Coast Magazine talked to her during the first week of November, she had already begun decorating.
But more importantly to her, she had already begun planning what will be the eighth round of what she calls, “Elfmass.”
It is an effort by Henderson and her group of friends to bring Christmas cheer to local families in need.
She and her GFs (girlfriends) check in with connections within the local schools to identify families in need that perhaps have not been open to the more public efforts of the area’s charity groups.
It’s a well-developed connection for Henderson considering she worked for 18 years in the local school district extended care program.
She knows who to ask to get information to help a family in need with presents for the kids and a little something for the parents, especially the moms.
Then, Henderson and her friends dress up as elves and make “surprise” deliveries during the week before Christmas.
“It is just SO MUCH FUN,” Henderson said. “We show up to make the delivery, tell them ‘Merry Christmas,’ and they cry, and we cry. Christmas is about giving to others, making other people happy and well, yes, I do really like to dress up like an elf.”
For Henderson, Christmas really never ends. She is planning all year long. But it really ramps up for her at Halloween, she explained.
Say what?
Yes, indeed, Halloween is the time of the year that Henderson finds the best items to add to her Christmasness.
Last year, she found a velvet green overalls and a headband and drummer boy hat that just screams merriment to her.
“All the amazing makeup is out at Halloween too,” she said. “The colors, oh, the colors. I found this awesome glitter green eyeshadow.”
You better bet Henderson has candy cane tights, a plethora of “ugly holiday sweaters” that she sees as beautiful and gloriously celebratory and, oh yes, gobs of glitter.
She cannot resist touching any Christmas ornament that has glitter on it, she also admits.
“I rub it (the glitter) on my face,” she effuses with the same lack of restraint that characterizes tween girls first discovering lip gloss. “Ya know, I just think you should rub it (the glitter) on yourself. Just for fun.”
Continuing the theme of fun is the fact that Henderson and her cadre of “elf friends” usually do their outfits again on Christmas morning and run the local beaches handing out treats to folks they meet there.
“Mostly people that are on the beach that early on Christmas morning are people who don’t have others to celebrate with,” she said with a recognizable sadness. “So, we go and spread some cheer to them.”
Christmas doesn’t end for her on December 26.
She keeps one item up all year long. For Christmas 2021 going into and through 2022, that item was the mistletoe at the front door.
“People were getting kisses in July,” she said with a laugh. “I think everyone should have Christmas in their heart all year long. It really helps when life gets busy, and we get cranky.”