Santa, Mrs. Claus visit downtown open house

Santa and Mrs. Claus pose with (from left) Grace Lowery, 7, Lyndsey Goodrily, 7 and Emma Todd, 5 during Patterson's Flowers open house on Sunday. The store, along with many others in the downtown area, hosted an open house during the weekend to welcome holiday shoppers. (Pioneer photo/Karin Armbruster)

Santa and Mrs. Claus pose with (from left) Grace Lowery, 7, Lyndsey Goodrily, 7 and Emma Todd, 5 during Patterson’s Flowers open house on Sunday. The store, along with many others in the downtown area, hosted an open house during the weekend to welcome holiday shoppers. (Pioneer photo/Karin Armbruster)

BIG RAPIDS — Children of all ages are hoping to be on the nice list following their visit with Kris Kringle himself on Sunday.

From noon to 3 p.m., Patterson’s Flowers in downtown Big Rapids hosted Santa and Mrs. Claus. The happy couple welcomed everyone to sit on their laps and discuss what they most wanted to see under the tree and in their stockings this Christmas. Photos, free of charge, also were taken and can be picked up as early as Friday at the business. Coloring Christmas pictures were available for children while they waited in line for their turn.

Emma Todd, 5, along with family members Grace Lowery, 7 and Lyndsey Goodrily, 7, sat on Santa’s lap and received a hug from Mrs. Claus.

“I want a baby kitty, because they’re cute and cuddly,” Todd said to Santa.

Lowery and Goodrily said they wanted a giant stuffed animal and a new bag or doll to play with.

The Clauses love meeting with children.

“It’s all for the kids,” Santa said. “If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be here.”

Mrs. Claus agreed, saying she loves to see the smiles on their faces when they come to visit.

The couple attend local functions, including Saturday’s Festival of Lights parade, hospitals, senior centers, private parties and more. Throughout it all, Santa keeps tabs on who will be receiving presents and who is getting coal in their stocking.

“Rex Schuberg and Big Rapids Mayor Mark Warba are the naughtiest boys in town,” Santa said. “All of these kids here are on my nice list.”

The business was abuzz with the Christmas spirit during its annual open house and offered patrons samples of cookies, fudge and more.

Nancy Nowicki was one of the many shoppers admiring the array of Christmas and winter offerings displayed around the store.

“I love to go to local businesses,” she said. “I’m here to look at all of the beautiful decor and see the new items they have.”

The event was part of the annual Merchants Holiday Open House hosted by the Big Rapids Downtown Business Association. Patterson’s Flowers owner Bob Patterson said it is a tradition to hold his open house on Sunday and has invited Santa and Mrs. Claus to the store for the past three years.

“It’s great and it’s festive and fun to see long-term clients and meet new people,” Patterson said. “It’s a great start to the Christmas season and it’s fun to be a part of that.”

Santa and Mrs. Claus also will be available at Patterson’s Flowers on Saturday, Nov. 30. The pair invite adults and children alike to send Christmas lists to the North Pole by emailing santaclaus@triton.net.

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Posted by Karin Armbruster

Karin is the reporter for Osceola County’s Herald Review. She is the coordinator of the Health page, which runs in the weekend edition of the Pioneer. She can be reached by phone at (231) 592-8382 or by e-mail at karmbruster@pioneergroup.com.

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