Mark Clairmont |

GRAVENHURST — Santa’s a ham.

And the kids loved him.

It’s hard to be shy when confronted with a jolly smile — and a little ribbing.

Kids are comfortable around the gargantuan, gregarious gentleman.

Especially this year’s Claus couple.

Post parade Saturday, after they had greeted all the good little boys and girls, Mr. and Mrs. welcomed everyone back to St. Paul’s Catholic Church, where the Lions Club hosted a pizza lunch, playtime, free photo-op and gift-bag takeaway with the reds.

And what a party it was enjoyed by dozens of families, as DJ Scott Dunlop MC’d the event, the Lions served and the Girl Guides cleaned up.

But the star was a right Jolly St. Nick.

And while anyone could saddle up and sit on his knee to tell them what they wanted for Christmas — or show them on their smart phone —  the fun was in a performance that was much more than a mere merry selfie.

When the flashes began popping, that’s when Santa (a.k.a. NDP candidate Tom Young) shone.

After the picture perfect pose, that’s when Santa brought on the biggest smiles with a playful tug on their toque over their face and his funny facial expressions.

Those were the true animated keepers that many parents had the added options of purchasing three extra photos beyond the complimentary one each received in a gift card.

One mom from Port Sydney picked up a half dozen extra photos of her six-month-old twins, Ryan and Evan LeMay, dressed adorably in their own matching Santa suits and hats for only $10.

The kids’ grandparents were delighted.

Santa loved every minute as much as the beautifully-behaved baby boys.

And when Santa waved his final goodbye for the door of the community hall, as he headed back to his North Pole workshop to get ready for the next parade and Dec. 25, he let out a final “Ho! Ho! Ho!” And a hearty “Merry Christmas!”


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