We all know Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus have been married for years, possibly centuries.

But a St. George man finally popped the question to the woman he loves, 40 years after they met at a St. George middle school.

The two 53-year-olds were hired by photographer Alyssa Ence for a family party in St. George.

Ence is a professional photographer based in St. George.

Troy Thode, who was set to play Santa, told Ence his plans and said he’d do the gig for free in exchange for some professional photos.

During the staged photo shoot, Thode proposed to Cheryl Hawker, whom he met when both were 13.

The two had crushes on each other during middle and high school, but they never went on a date.

“It’s a sweet story that started 40 years ago when he first asked me out on a date and I told him, ‘No. my dad will get mad!'” Hawker said on Instagram.

After school, the pair drifted apart and started their own families.

They finally reconnected in 2018, realized they were both single, and started dating.

Hawker had been playing Mrs. Claus to his Santa at several events this holiday season before Thode got down on one knee to has for her hand in marriage.

Keep reading…