Santa visits those without family in the area for Christmas Day - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Santa visits those without family in the area for Christmas Day party


Eau Claire (WQOW) - For many, the holidays are about being with family and friends. But not everyone has to that opportunity. For the past few years, a pair of friends has been working to make the holidays brighter for those who can't make it to see family elsewhere.

For more than three decades, they've been celebrating Christmas at the Oakwood Home Apartments.

"My good friend Pam from work, her father was also living here, and we decided to get the community room and have Christmas together as a family and invite anyone in the building who didn't have a place to go," said Linda Curtis, who helps organize the event.

Over the years, the celebration has grown to include dozens who live at the apartment.

"Not everyone has members of their family in the immediate vicinity, so this is just to make sure they don't spend the Christmas alone and all get together. And I've never seen so many smiles in one place," said Larry Bradford, who played Santa.

The party includes a visit from Santa, a Christmas dinner, and presents.

"We kind of try to get practical things, we give them like dish soap and laundry soap, dryer sheets, things they can use up. Always candy, there's always candy in the bags, that's always a big favorite."

But what the people here enjoy most is sharing the holiday with others.

"The one's here are really memorable. The ones we've had with our families, nobody can replace. But this family here is special," said Florence Pitt.

"It's not only good for them; it's good for us because our families aren't around either. It's just a fun thing for us to do to keep things going," Curtis said.

More than 50 people attended this year's Christmas party.

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