A Chilliwack mom reached out to Santa Claus, who was happy to take a break from Christmas chaos to visit some local children. (Eric J. Welsh/ Chilliwack Progress)

Santa Claus visits children in Chilliwack as Christmas draws near

The cancellation of his annual visit to Cottonwood Centre didn’t deter Saint Nicholas

Two young children got the surprise of their life Monday afternoon.

There they were, out for a walk with their caregiver. As they ambled into the Jinkerson Park parking lot their eyes grew wide. You don’t expect to see Père Noël standing in a parking lot, especially in December when he’s got so much to do.

But there he was, looking jolly in his big red suit. Nervously the kids sidled over, and Santa asked one of them what she wanted for Christmas.

‘A pony!’ she replied after a moment of deliberation.

Then the kids went merrily on their way, glancing back over their shoulders several times to see if the big guy was still there.

So, what was Saint Nicholas doing in Jinkerson on a rainy Monday afternoon?

“When we heard that Santa wasn’t going to be able to do photos at the mall (Cottonwood Centre), we felt really bad for the kids,” said Chilliwack’s Jenny Dixon, mother of two little ones. “So we decided to reach out to Santa and see if we could get him to make a few stops in Chilliwack between now and Christmas.”

READ MORE: Santa’s annual visit to Chilliwack’s Cottonwood Mall cancelled by COVID

READ MORE: Christmas will be different even if Santa is ‘probably’ immune to COVID, says B.C. top doctor

Santa loved the idea. It takes him mere moments to get from the North Pole to Chilliwack, using a mix of magic and proprietary sled technology to travel at the speed of light. Even though he is super busy at this time of year, he understands 2020 has been very tough on kids who’ve had to keep their distance from friends and family due to COVID-19.

There’s nothing Father Christmas wants more right now than to put smiles on the faces of children.

“Bringing their imagination to life and seeing the gleam in their eyes when they see me and they say what they want, from the bottom of their heart, it’s so exciting,” Santa said.

It’s all done in a safe manner, of course. While word on the street is Santa may be immune to coronavirus, you can’t be too safe. He wore a festive face mask and stood at a distance while he talked to the kids.

On day one he visited 12 homes in Chilliwack.

“We’ve heard some sad stories from kids who are struggling with the seclusion,” Dixon said. “They sound really sad to be stuck and home and so it’s nice that Santa is here to boost their spirits.”

Dixon is maintaining contact with ol’ Kris Kringle, who has promised to come back a few more times.

Anyone who wants a visit from Saint Nick can connect with ‘Jenni Di‘ on Facebook and she’ll try to set it up.


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

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