By Lorraine Glowczak
“This year, Santa knows it may be hard to visit him like usual, so he has decided to come out and visit you,” was the announcement made early last week on the Windham Maine Community Board Facebook page.
Visit, he did! Despite the steady flow of raindrops last Saturday, Dec. 5, Santa - whose alternate ego goes by the name of Eric Twitchell, met children at the bottom of their driveways in the neighborhoods between Falmouth and Varney Mill Roads in Windham. Boys and girls greeted Ol’ St. Nick with a cheer and shared their Christmas wish lists with him. Although social distancing was adhered to and promoted, joy was experienced by all.
|The young Linscott Family greeted|
Santa early Saturday morning
(L to R) Mother Nicole, Chase,
Olivia and Connor Linscott meet
with Santa. PHOTO BY
Already looking forward to next Saturday’s visits, Santa took a moment out of his busy schedule to share his experiences from last weekend.
“It was a lot of fun to see the kids happy to see Santa and to also see parents smiling as a result of their children’s excitement,” Twitchell said of donning the spirit of Kris Kringle. “A couple of moments that made it great was a few children ran right to me in excitement. One little girl couldn’t get enough goodbyes in as they drove away, and one girl blew a kiss at me. Some funny moments happened when I asked a few children if they had been good this year - they looked to their parents for a response.”
There were also instances where Santa felt compassion for a few children experiencing especially difficult times.
“The biggest pull on my heart strings was when I read a letter from a foster child asking for her forever home,” he said. “That really got me. I sincerely wish I could help her. Ultimately, knowing that I can bring some joy during a time when traditions may not be happening, and people could use a distraction from everything, brings joy to my own life and to lives of my wife and children.”
Providing holiday cheer during challenging times experienced by many during 2020 was the motivating factor for St. Nick’s visit.
“Last Wednesday, I was sitting on my deck and wondered how I could help out my community in some way during the holidays,” Twitchell said. “My wife and I usually take our children to see Santa at the Mall or LL Bean but due to the pandemic, it wasn’t going to be as easy or the same. Then it dawned on me. I could keep the tradition of visiting Santa by being Santa myself and going out into the community to meet with the children.”
After speaking with his wife Alicia, who encouraged him to follow through on his idea, Twitchell approached Aaron Pieper, the administrator of the Windham Maine Community Board to help get the word out that Santa was coming to town.
“Within five minutes after the Facebook posting, I had many requests to visit certain neighborhoods and four volunteers to help me.”
Santa’s wish is to reach as many children as possible this Saturday and could always use a few more volunteers. If your child wants Santa to visit your neighborhood or you wish to be one of his helpers, contact Santa Claus, via Eric Twitchell, on Facebook or by email at Erictwitchell83@gmail.com by this evening, Friday, Dec. 11.
“Being Santa isn’t just for the kids but also for the parents that look forward to experiencing Christmas traditions with their children every year!”
Keep your eyes out, listen for the bells and that familiar deep belly laugh. Santa may be just around the corner. <