NAVARRE — Jason Mullins is always in the Christmas spirit.

As the Grinch in Navarre, Mullins is the area's premier character showing up at events with his lime-green suit and 1950 Dodge Meadowbrook, dubbed "The Grinch," bringing toys to kids.

"It's something that I like to do for the community," said Mullins. "This is my my way, although it's small, of bringing joy to people. And I get 10 times back what I give."

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Mullins first became the Grinch about seven years ago during pharmacy school at the East Tennessee State University. It was finals week and students were stressed and eager to go home for Christmas vacation.

"I ordered a Grinch costume online and wore it to my last final," Mullins said. "It became expected of me to wear it to each final every year."

When Mullins' family made the move to Navarre, he followed. It wasn't long before he took the Grinch suit out for a test run in the Navarre community. His first appearance was at the annual Christmas parade and from there he started getting more requests. He's appeared at Christmas in July events, home visits to kids during the Christmas season, the Navarre Beach Mardi Gras parade and was even asked to visit a bachelorette party. That is the oddest request to date, he said.

"I was going to buy some tear-away pants, but I ended up not being able to make it," Mullins said with a laugh.

In the past couple of years, Mullins has added a few costume changes to the Grinch. Alongside his pharmacy training, Mullins has also become skilled at sewing and dying his costume that unmistakable green.

Since he was doing more appearances outside of the Christmas season, he's added a Hawaiian print shirt and shorts combo and Uncle Sam suit to the Grinch's closet. This weekend he'll be at the military appreciation picnic in Navarre Park wearing a dress and floppy hat to go with the Mother's Day theme. One thing he won't wear is a military uniform, something Mullins said he hasn't "earned the right to do."

It's not a big secret that Mullins is the Grinch in Navarre. Jason is his secret identity, he joked.

Mullins tries to grant every request and he never takes a cent. He stocks up year-round on toys to hand out to kids. You might find him digging through the clearance bins with armloads of fidget spinners or squirt guns. He keeps all of his Grinch-related items in a storage locker.

"I don't take donations of toys because I don't want to take away from charities like Toys for Tots or angel trees," he said.

At events, Mullins said he often gets a positive response from fans of the Dr. Seuss character. The best compliment he regularly gets is "You gave me my Christmas spirit."

"Sometimes children scream, some just associate me as a giant, green teddy bear," he said. "Once an 80-year-old woman came up to me, crying. Her son, who had Down syndrome, loved the Grinch character. She had lost her son but said that seeing me was almost like having him there."

Mullins said he doesn't mind being the butt of the joke — or the Grinch of the party. As long as it's met with joy.

"Laugh with me or laugh at me," he said. "I'm happy as long as you're laughing."

Follow the Grinch in Navarre on Facebook at facebook.com/thegrinchnavarre.