Thanksgiving might be this week, but Santa has already come to town.
Children, families and pets posed for photos with St. Nick during the Guadalupe County Humane Society’s annual Children and Pets Pictures with Santa on Friday and Saturday at the Spirit of Texas Bank.
Five-year-old Brave Monaco was ready to tell Santa his Christmas wishes. He hopped on Santa’s lap and waited while his brother, 2-month-old Steele, was placed in the jolly man’s right arm.
Their grandmother, Hope Monaco, said she brought them for pictures because she wanted the baby to have his first photo with Santa and to support the Humane Society.
“They’re enjoying it,” she said. “Santa’s taking a nice amount of time with Brave and letting him know when he’s coming and that he knows he has been a good boy.”
There was a great turnout for photos, Guadalupe County Humane Society President Margarett Svatek said.
“We’ve just had a wonderful turnout,” she said. “We’re so happy to see all of these people, many who come year after year. Some of them have been coming since we started this.”
The event has gone on for over 25 years she said. Photography was provided by Lynn Glenewinkel, whom she praised.
“Lynn does such a fantastic job,” she said. “We’ve got people back behind him using squeak toys to get the animal’s attention, but he is amazing. The animals can get under the chair, and he has a way to get their attention.”
In addition to photos with Santa, those who came out could also participate in a raffle, buy Christmas items from multiple vendors or enjoy a meal from the concession stand, Svatek said.
Steve Perra, of Katy, brought his son, Marcus, 4, for photos. After pictures with St. Nick, they browsed the items for sale.
“I’ve seen a couple of things I might buy,” he said. “They also have a great raffle. I put my tickets in for a wine basket and a movie night basket for the boys.”
All money raised will go back into helping support the Humane Society, Svatek said.
“We offer a low-cost spay and neuter program, so it will go back into that, and also getting our animals vaccinations and their day-to-day care,” she said.
Perra praised the Humane Society for putting on the event.
“I think it’s a great idea,” he said. “It’s a great way to raise money and promote awareness.”
Monaco echoed Perra’s sentiment and encouraged the community to come out to get their photos with Santa taken each year.
“It’s a great idea, and it’s a very worthy cause,” she said. “You should come out and support the ladies who are taking care of all these wonderful animals.”
Svatek hoped those who came out enjoyed the event and Christmas tradition.
“I think this is something people will continue to do, and build memories,” she said. “It will be a memorable experience for them.”