Santa Claus Day

Jamie Hult, Staff writer

Stephanie Gilles, 9, asks Santa for a stuffed deer at Valley Springs’ annual Santa Claus Day Dec. 16. Jamie Hult/BV Journal

Braxtyn Bratland, 2, didn’t hesitate to admit to Santa that he’d been a bit naughty this year. Jamie Hult/BV Journal
Valley Springs celebrates holidays with longtime tradition
While Santa’s sleigh was in the shop for a tune-up and his reindeer were putting in extra cardio training for the upcoming big night on Christmas Eve, the jolly old elf himself made his annual visit to Valley Springs on Saturday.
Santa has been hitching a ride with local firefighters to Santa Claus Day for more than half a century.
“They did Santa Claus Day when I was little, and I’m 61,” said Cindy Moss, who heads the community club that arranges Santa’s visits. “And I know they were doing it even before that.”
Growing up in Valley Springs, Moss got apples, peanuts and old-fashioned candy, but over the years Santa has broadened his offerings and his budget.  
Sixty-one kids took home presents Dec. 16 from the American Legion Hall – dolls, puzzles, arts and crafts, games, sports equipment and more. 
And Santa didn’t discriminate for a little bad behavior.  
“I’m naughty,” announced Braxtyn Bratland when he climbed on Santa’s lap.  
While the 2-year-old didn’t get the snowmen or fire truck he asked for, he was pretty happy with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle hoop set.
Leslie Schoolcraft brought her 6-year-old daughter, Ella, to their first Santa Claus Day.   
“It was awesome – probably the best one I’ve been to,” Schoolcraft said. “It’s a great event for the community – and what a nice surprise to get presents.”
The Valley Springs Community Club also gave out 12 turkeys in addition to the 60-plus presents.
Every year community club members have a word with Santa prior to “going shopping.” 

“It’s fun spending someone else’s money,” Moss said with a laugh.  


The Brandon Valley Journal


The Brandon Valley Journal
1404 E. Cedar St.
Brandon, SD 57005
(605) 582-9999

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