Santa makes special visit to Anne Carlsen Center

GRAND FORKS, N.D.—A lot of kids were getting in the Christmas spirit Saturday, as a special visitor flew down from the North Pole to say hello.

It wasn’t your average playdate for a number of kids in Grand Forks. “We brought them to see Santa,” said Pam Soderberg, mother of three.

“They get some time just to warm up to Santa which is nicer than a lot of times at the mall where you only have a couple minutes and they need to get a picture and they don’t have time to adapt and get used to him” said Soderberg.

Saturday, Santa Claus was at the Anne Carlsen Center in Grand Forks to take pictures with some of his biggest fans.

“Its a chance to help families who have kids with special needs to have an opportunity to visit santa in a safe environment with less stimulation,” said Janet Jedlicka, UND Occupational Therapy.

The Anne Carlsen Center has been hosting St. Nick every December for four years now.

“We really feel is important is for the families that have children who have difficulties visiting Santa in the public arena, in the malls and stuff, that we wanted to have some quiet time for them,” said Ramona Gunderson, Anne Carlson Center.

The kids get to spend over 20 minutes playing with Santa before it comes time to take that traditional picture.

After the picture, Santa gave each kid a stocking full of candy, and asked what each wants for Christmas.

“It’s amazing. It’s the best part of Christmas. It’s the magic part rather than the stressful part,” said Jedlicka.

This event helps to make the season bright for every girl and boy.

Over 50 children were able to meet Santa Saturday.


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