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Gearing up for Santa’s Big Visit

September 09, 2021 2 min read

Gearing up for Santa’s Big Visit

The Lebanon Reporter

Dec 16, 2020 

Gus Pearcy

Santa has been showing up at Samson Family Leather for several years. Last year, he brought a gift for every child with the help of umpteen community volunteers, but they miscalculated and ran out of gifts.

“My mother-in-law and I were wrapping gifts that afternoon,” Abbie Samson said to one of the volunteers. This year, Samson has tripled the number of gifts and those were wrapped last weekend in anticipation of the big guy’s visit from 1-3 p.m. Sunday at the store at 119 N. Meridian St., on the downtown square in Lebanon.

Once again, the event is free. Children will get a gift and a photo with Santa – while observing COVID restrictions, of course.

“Actually, Santa and Mrs. Claus are good friends of ours and they donate their time to come help,” Samson said. “Each kid will get a present. Just pull up and get a present.”

Out front sits a special mailbox for letters to Santa. All letters get a personal response from the jolly old elf, but the deadline for drop off is tomorrow.

“We’ll give (parents) back the original letter, so they can have that as a keepsake,” Samson said. “I’ve seen a lot of little hands drop letters in, so we’re excited to see what’s in there.”

Samson has been asking the community to help with the giveaway. Last year, six volunteers showed up to help wrap the gifts, Samson said.

“This year, we’ve had over 20,” she said. “All the wrapping paper was donated and tape and all of a sudden we have, I think, all the tape in Lebanon.”

Some donations were made through Amazon, where people purchased wrapping paper, tape and bows, and then sent it to the store.

In less than two hours, 400 gifts were wrapped with love and a bow. Casey Samson even ran out to get more toys for wrapping because the volunteers were so fast.

“We really look forward to this time of year,” Abbie added. “We’ve used it as like a mental finishing line for us, so regardless of what next year brings we knew we had to make this a good Christmas for everybody because that’s what makes it a good Christmas for us."