The Northwest Company (the parent company of the store Rob runs) provides each store with a Santa Suit, a portable printer and 3 packs of ink/paper for Santa Claus. This is something that is done for each store in the company. He has offered the use of both these items at no charge to the community, and did not receive a response. He has not done "Santa" in the store because this is always something that was done by the town. So, Santa is coming to the Northern today. We are bringing my Christmas backdrop and blocking off a corner of the store to take pictures of the kids. These pictures will be printed on the spot for parents to take home, and will be done free of charge (we are asking for a $2.00 donation to charity). The staff has really come together with this, and made 100 grab bags for the kids yesterday. Keep in mind, this conversation with Rob happened MONDAY night, and here it is Wednesday morning and we're ready to go. And the response from the town has been overwhelming. People are really excited about this, and more than a few adults have joked they are coming to sit on Santa's knee.
This is more than just a publicity stunt for his store. Yes, of course it will boost sales on the 2nd last day of shopping, and he is running some great last minute deals. But he's not doing it for that. He's doing it for the kids. Of course, there are kids in town that have had their picture taken with Santa when they have gone out of town with their parents. But there are many kids in this community who have never been out of town. He's doing it for them. It just shows how much we all love it here. I can feel roots settling. :)