A special visit from Santa brought Christmas cheer to two local children last weekend.
On Dec. 1 Brooke Molitwenik and her two children — almost-six-year-old Anaya and four-year-old Aiden — were on their way to Winterfest in downtown Castlegar. Anaya was scheduled to march with the Sparks in the Parade of Lights.
Their journey was interrupted when the family was involved in a collision.
“The kids were crying and screaming and my first instinct was — are they injured?” said Molitwenik. “Luckily, they were not.”
Ambulances arrived and her children were taken to the Castlegar and District Community Health Centre just to make sure they were fine.
“Instead of going to the parade to march with the Sparks and visit Santa afterwards, we spent until closing at the ER in Castlegar,” explained Molitwenik.
“The kids were really bummed out — they didn’t understand — they were looking forward to seeing Santa and giving him their requests for what they wanted for Christmas.”
Aiden expressed his concerns to his mom about how Santa was going to know what they wanted for Christmas.
Several days later Moltiwenik went to the West Kootenay Regional Airport to rent a vehicle and ran into airport manager Gerry Rempel who told her that he would make arrangements for Santa Claus to visit Anaya and Aiden.
“I thought that was so generous of him,” said Moltiwenik.
The day was an exceptionally emotional one, not just because of the aftermath of the accident, but also because Moltiwenik’s husband’s mother had passed away.
They made arrangements to meet at the firefighter’s toy drive at A&W on Saturday. “I didn’t realize that it wasn’t a Santa event — that it was just the firefighters,” she said.
But when the family walked through the door — there was Santa Claus greeting Anaya and Aiden by name and talking to them about how he had heard they had missed visiting him because of an accident.
The kids got to give their wish lists to Santa and ask him a few questions about reindeer and why his tummy was so big.
“The kids were just beaming ear to ear, talking to him that day,” said Moltiwenik.
“It was pretty magical. I was pretty blown away by Santa,” she added. “I couldn’t be more grateful.”
After that, Santa disappeared and Moltiwenik was able to thank Rempel for making it all possible.