Stephen Nichols On The Special Holiday Tradition He Carries Beyond Days Of Our Lives - Exclusive Interview

Longtime "Days of Our Lives" fans know that Steve Johnson, played by Stephen Nichols since his 1985 debut, got his rather obvious nickname "Patch" because he lost his eye in a knife fight with Bo Brady (Peter Reckell). 

Nicknames aside, the tough-as-nails former mercenary and ISA agent has a soft side, and in between heroic missions, he often dresses up as Santa Claus with a eye patch around the holiday season, lovingly referred to as "Patchy Claus." Fans still fondly remember Steve's Patchy Claus, and will be glad to know that some of that good cheer has spilled over into real life, as Nichols himself loves to dress up as old St. Nick for his family. 

That fact is evident when you read Mary Beth Evans' (who plays Kayla Johnson) Instagram post from December 18, 2015, in which she shared a photo of her and Nichols as Patchy Claus (minus the signature eyepatch), with the caption, "Oh no not Patchyclause [sic] ... Sans patch ... Cheers to the guy [who] has owned his own Santa suit for 30 years. Sweet!" 

At the "Day of Days" fan celebration on October 21, 2023, The List caught up with Nichols who not only talked about his Patchy Claus experience but also confirmed what Evans stated. "I wasn't Patchy Claws this year for Christmas," he said, adding, "And I was very upset about that. I love playing Santa. I have a Santa suit. I own a Santa suit."

Now that's commitment to a role!

Nichols wants to get back to being Patchy Claus

Stephen Nichols didn't have any trouble playing Patchy Claus on "Days of Our Lives" as he's been portraying the Christmas icon in his real life for decades. "I've been playing Santa for all the kids in our family for years, for 30 years," he told The List exclusively. "[For] all nieces, nephews, whenever [there are] little kids in the family." 

He lamented how the magic wanes a bit as time goes on, saying, "And then they all grew up and we didn't have any little kids, so I took a break for a while. And now we've got some more little kids, so I'm going to get back to it." He was lovingly referring to his grandchildren via his daughter, Vanessa, so it seems he'll be enjoying donning the red suit for more Christmases to come.

Patchy Claus didn't show up in Salem this past Christmas on "Days of Our Lives" as, instead, Steve and Kayla Johnson, as well as his son Tripp, went to visit their son Joey Johnson (Tanner Stine) in Seattle. 

In fact, in a 2021 Facebook post, Nichols posted an invitation to join the "Patchy Claus Charity" drive that he and Evans created. "We haven't done Patchy Claus in a couple of years so we thought ... we'd raise money for charities of Mary Beth and Stephen's choice in lieu of holiday gifts," it read. Their charities of choice were CASA of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Mission. 

It's clear that Nichols shares the holiday spirit, whether he's playing Patchy Claus or not!