Three Fort Macleod families received a surprise visit Christmas Eve from Santa Claus.
Santa and some Fort Macleod elves delivered truckloads of non-perishable food items to the families.
Santa also brought candy canes for everyone, and a promise that he would return sometime that night with more gifts.
The Christmas Eve visit and delivery of food to low-income families began last year.
Some Fort Macleod families were arranging for Santa to visit their young children.
Word began to spread and more families asked that St. Nick show up the evening of Dec. 24 with a candy cane for each child, and a promise to return later with gifts.
The organizers were pleased to accommodate the requests, but decided to collect a bag of non-perishable food items from each family in return for the visit.
They turned to Fort Macleod Kids First Family Centre for help locating a low-income family who could use the extra food.
Kids First co-ordinates the Secret Santa program in Fort Macleod through which gifts are collected and delivered to low-income families.
This year the Secret Santa program provided gifts to 33 families.
Kids First didn’t hesitate last year to help this other group of volunteers deliver food to a local family
“I heard about what this group of family and friends were doing late in the game last year and quickly got a family involved,” Kids First co-ordinator Susan Simpson said.
The group collected a pickup full of food and Santa delivered it to a Fort Macleod family.
Not surprisingly, the arrival of Santa Claus caused almost as big a stir at the home than the unexpected delivery of food.
Not that there wasn’t a lot of food.
“It turned out that they were actually overwhelmed with food, so this year we started talking early,” Simpson said. “They asked for two families, which we gave them, then came back for a third when they could see that they were going to have even more food than last year.”
Santa and his elves, who have asked to remain anonymous, delivered the food on Christmas Eve.
“As usual, I am amazed that a small group of Fort Macleod community members have taken it upon themselves to anonymously give of their time and resources in this way,” Simpson added. “I have now lived in Fort Macleod for almost four years and I wonder if I will ever get used to the generous spirit of the people here.”
“I hope not, because amazing is amazing and I hope to remain amazed.”