Santa and his helper, Abby Twitchell, 10, visit kids around town the morning of Dec. 12. Windham resident Eric Twitchell devised a plan to have Santa spread Christmas cheer among local residents’ children. Emily Bader / Lakes Region Weekly

WINDHAM — Over a hundred kids got a visit from Santa when he made a surprise visit to town this month. Meeting the kids at the end of their driveways, Santa gave them a “ho ho ho” and asked for their Christmas wishes.

Eric Twitchell said he came up with the jolly idea some weeks back when he started to think about Christmas.

“I was sitting on my deck and was thinking about how different the holidays will be this year and traditions like Santa won’t be the same for a lot of children,” he said.

Ray, 3, center right, could barely contain her excitement. “Can I go with you,” she asked. Emily Bader / Lakes Region Weekly

He floated his idea to a Windham community Facebook group Dec. 1 and within minutes, parents’ requests for Santa to visit their kids came rolling in.

“This year Santa knows it may be hard to go see him like usual, so he has decided to come to you,” Twitchell wrote.

He estimated that he and his five “helpers” – other residents who volunteered to help out – visited about 80 neighborhoods throughout the town.

On the morning of Dec. 12, Santa Twitchell was joined by his “elves,” Abby Twitchell, 10, and Griffen Twitchell, 6.

Jackson Bennett, 6, tried to play it cool. In a sign of an unusual year, Jackson exclaimed, “I just realized I forgot my mask!” Emily Bader / Lakes Region Weekly

Conditions were much better than the week before, when the three got soaked after several hours of walking through pouring rain.

His first visit of the day was to Peyton, 2, who was so shocked to see Mr. Claus standing in front of him that all he could do was hide behind his mom.

Over on Stone Brook Road, nearly every house on the block had kids waiting patiently for Santa to stop by.

Ray, 3, was so excited that she momentarily forgot her name before inviting Santa inside to meet her puppy. Santa politely declined since he was social distancing.

Logan, 3, peered up at Santa apprehensively. He and his brother, Nolan, 5, had a simple Christmas wish: “dinosaurs.” Emily Bader / Lakes Region Weekly

Andrea and Sean Violette brought their three children, Gianna, 9, Ari, 6, and Roman, 2, out to say hi. While Ari and Roman were having fun, Gianna was a maybe less than impressed: “We (see Santa) every year.”

“Some figured me out but knew I was Santa’s helper,” Twitchell said.

Jackson Bennett, 6, tried to play it cool and insisted that he’s “kind of shy.”

His mom, Pam Dixon, said it was nice in such an unusual year for Santa to make house calls.

“This is such a wonderful act of kindness made possible by a resident like any one of us,” Aaron Pieper wrote in the Facebook group.

Twitchell called the experience “great,” and is hoping “to be able to do this next year even though hopefully, the pandemic will be over!”

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