Chris Mis' mother has quite the sense of humor, but you've probably figured that out by now. After years of toying with the idea of naming one of her kids in honor of Christmas, she actually did it when her sixth and youngest child was born. "If I'd been a girl, I would have been Mary Christine Mis," explains Chris Mis. With a name like that, you can't be a Grinch this time of year. The 49-year-old Strongsville resident estimates he puts in 1,200 hours of volunteer work annually for nonprofits as a way to embody the spirit of the season. "Christmas is all about giving, and I have such a desire to do good for others," he says. He couldn't tell us who's been naughty and nice, but he was happy to answer a few other questions.
Did kids make fun of your name growing up?
It wasn't the kids in school; it was my brothers teasing me. ... How the Grinch Stole Christmas had just come out, and they always teased me that the Grinch was going to steal me.
So how do you find 1,200 hours of time each year to volunteer?
My main job [at Regina Health Center] is in the evenings, so I have most of my mornings free. I'm up and out before 8 [a.m.] and volunteer until at least 2 or 3 [p.m.] about four to five days a week. Weekends are for volunteering.
Have you ever dressed up as Santa?
I was a Higbee's Santa Claus when I was in college. The older children could probably see right through me. I had a lot of comments about my beard not fitting right. ... For the younger kids who would ask me for a specific gift, I would tell them, "Well, we'll try our best, but on Aug. 6 you didn't eat your peas and carrots, or on Oct. 11 you didn't tie your shoes."