Santa and Mrs. Claus made a stop at the Hillsborough Police Department on Thursday, ready to listen to the wishes of hundreds of children.
In the lobby of the police station, children entered the room with bright eyes, as presents were sprawled around the Christmas tree.
Santa and Mrs. Claus awaited children, some eager to sit on their laps and share their Christmas wishes; others, apprehensive to the jolly pair in red and white.
Nonetheless, close to 400 children were able to go home with a gift and a sense of wonder.
Though this annual event is usually completed within a few hours time, the preparation begins months in advance.
The annual toy drive begins at the start of November, this year kicking off on Nov. 10 with help from the Timeless Cruizers car club of Efland.
During the Benefit Cruize, participants were invited to bring new unwrapped toys and nonperishable food to the event, as well as gaze at the antique cars.
These toys were part of the hundreds given to children on Thursday, and the donated food was delivered by the Timeless Cruizers to the local pantry run by Orange Congregations in Mission.
The police station accepted donations up until the day of the event for all ages up to 15 years old.
Toy trucks, life-size dolls, soccer balls, a Razor scooter, and more were placed around the tree on Dec. 13, as children and families began to line up outside the station. The line eventually wound around the department, and people waited in line for their few minutes with Santa and Ms. Claus. Families in need also were invited to the station to take a picture with St. Nick and receive some items.
Police officers, some dressed as elves, worked to replenish presents under the tree and spread the Christmas cheer. Leftover gifts will go toward the Police Department’s Santa secret service visit to a local childcare center.