Some things you do as Santa are so utterly delightful that you can’t wait to schedule them for the coming year. Some events as Santa are so heart-melting that you have to steel yourself in advance. Some events are the reason you are Santa. Cookies With Santa and my time each year with the Hope Kids is the latter kind of event.
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This year was my eighth year with Cookies With Santa. It all started in an attempt to put my highly expensive photographic suite to good use. We had a very simple event with Spare Key where I asked them to pick up the materials cost and I’d provide the photographic printers and all the smiles. They provided the cookies. Thus was born my favorite event of the year: Cookies With Santa.
That event had just a handful of families turn out. The following year we moved it to a bigger venue, more families, and I decided that running my own photo studio was too much work.
Ah, but that third year… We hooked up with Hope Kids and they provided a venue, cookies, the photographer, and so much more.
I won’t do the stories that so often appear at this time of year when it comes to Hope Kids. They are kids. Period. Kids who love Santa, have a good time at the event and have all the needs, wishes, and dreams of every other kid. I love those little ones. And their parents. I go a lot of places and do a lot of things as Santa each year. This event, traditionally my first “people” event of the year, is one that I cherish. I fill up my tank and start the praying at Cookies With Santa.
You see, my goal is to pray over every child and adult who takes a picture with me. And I pray for the people behind the camera, the ones who won’t come on my side of the lens, and the tearful ones standing in the shadows. All of them get a blessing in return for the huge pile of blessings I take away from the event. I am so honored that they let me be a part of their lives. I am humbled by the love and smiles that I get each year.
I truly would love to share all of the photos with you. But I don’t put the child photos up on any of my sites anymore. All of the ones I display had been used with permission but that’s such a hard thing to do anymore. Instead I just show the adults: if you’re over 18 you’re fair game for the blog.
Today’s photos, displayed below in a montage, are of some really fun people. The big guy in the blue shirt is the Manager at Sky Deck at the Mall of America. The young man and young woman are also employees of Sky Deck. The older couple are grandparents who came for the event and gleefully took photos with the lunatic in the red suit. The blonde lady and bearded fellow are two of my photographers – and very good at what they do! My friend Dick is invisible, he won’t let me have his picture – but he masterminds the photographic set with his lovely wife. I wish they’d consent to a photo. Finally, the really silly women in maroon and gold are all from the University of Minnesota – volunteers who helped out with the event.
I cannot say enough nice things about everyone who participated – families and volunteers alike. If you have disposable income burning a hole in your pocket, head over to Sky Deck and patronize them. They’ve hosted us for three years now and are a fine outfit in every respect.
Now, without further ado, the photos. I am so blessed.
[fgallery id=8 w=450 h=385 bg=ffffff t=0 title=”Cookies With Santa 2013″]
You are in the Santa business? Very impressive! Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah!
Thank you. And a Happy Hanukkah to you as well.