VERNON - Newcomers to the Vernon area couldn’t find Santa. Instead, he found them.
Calli Quirk and her husband moved to Vernon in October with their girls, two and a half-year-old Paisley and 11-month-old Piper.
“This is the first year my oldest daughter started to believe in (and) understand Santa,” Quirk says.
She took the excited kids to the downtown Vernon light-up to meet Santa, but he was nowhere to be found. They walked up and down Main Street, asking passersby if they knew where he was. By 7:30 p.m. it was time to go home.
“I’m new to Vernon, I didn’t know where he was supposed to be,” Quirk says. “Paisley looked up at me and asked ‘Where’s santa?’ I said, ‘I guess Santa was too busy. We’ll have to wait for next year.’”
The next morning, Quirk posted in the Vernon and Area Community Forum on Facebook, asking “What happened to Santa last night?” She got several replies and a private message from a local man.
“He said, ‘I saw your posting. I do Santa appearances on Christmas Eve,’” Quirk says. “I said, that would be absolutely amazing.”
She gave him her address and asked if she could pay him or do something in return.
“He said nope, just make sure it’s a surprise. He said he just likes to see their faces when they open the door,” Quirk says.
She recalls the shock and sheer joy on Paisley’s face when her daughter opened the door, looked the visitor up and down, and said, “Hi Santa.” He came inside for a few minutes, gave the kids candy canes, and soon had to be on his way.
“He starts at 3:45 p.m. and when he stopped here it was 6:50 p.m. He still had lots of stops. He spends his whole Christmas Eve afternoon and evening doing this. I couldn’t believe it,” Quirk says.
Following the visit, Paisley has been calling Santa on her toy phone to thank him for coming, and ask him to visit again.
“When he left he said welcome to Vernon, hope you enjoy it here,” Quirk says. “It’s hard to believe there are still selfless people like that around.”
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.