Operation Restore Faith in Big Red: Santa visits Langley kids in red Jeep

Sean Gallawan visited kids around the community on Dec. 19, 2020. (Special to Langley Advance Times)Sean Gallawan visited kids around the community on Dec. 19, 2020. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Sean and Jen Gallawan, alongside Jen’s sister the reindeer, made distanced visits to 20 different families on Dec. 19, 2020. (Special to Langley Advance Times)Sean and Jen Gallawan, alongside Jen’s sister the reindeer, made distanced visits to 20 different families on Dec. 19, 2020. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Santa and his helpers took to the streets of Langley on Dec. 19, 2020 to spread some holiday cheer. Jen and Sean Gallawan (left) stopped to visit a long time friend at a nursing home near Langley Memorial Hospital while making stops at 20 different homes to visit kids in the community. (Special to Langley Advance Times)Santa and his helpers took to the streets of Langley on Dec. 19, 2020 to spread some holiday cheer. Jen and Sean Gallawan (left) stopped to visit a long time friend at a nursing home near Langley Memorial Hospital while making stops at 20 different homes to visit kids in the community. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Sean Gallawan visited kids around the community on Dec. 19, 2020. (Special to Langley Advance Times)Sean Gallawan visited kids around the community on Dec. 19, 2020. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Sean and Jen Gallawan made distanced visits to 20 different families. (Special to Langley Advance Times)Sean and Jen Gallawan made distanced visits to 20 different families. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

The Aldergrove Santa may not have had a chance to take part in the annual Christmas parade, but he still managed to visit with some kids this holiday season.

It all started when Jen Gallawen put a call on Facebook for a Santa suit as part of a plan to help restore her six-year-old nephew’s faith in Big Red.

A friend from the Aldergrove legion wrote Jen saying the Santa suit they would typically use in the annual Christmas parade was available.

“We’re not doing the Christmas parade this year,” she told Gallawen, “So I can lend you the one that we have here, if you want to get [Sean] to come and see if it fits.”

Sean Gallawen is Jen’s husband and he was about to take on a role of a lifetime.

The suit was a fit, but Sean thought he should put it to the test by surprising their neighbour’s daughter.

The young girl “was so excited and so happy,” Jen recalled, she also captured the moment on camera.

“So I posted that picture on Facebook,”Jen said.

“And I had a lot of comments like, ‘Oh, that’s cool. I wish you could do that for us.’ And so my husband asked, ‘Do you think we should do a Santa drive-by?’”

So the pair put the call out on Facebook and had 20 families ask if they could drive-by and visit with their kids.

“I emailed everybody, I told them approximately what time we would be there, and that we would text them when Santa was on his way,” Jen explained about organizing the day.

But something was still missing. Santa needed a ride.

“My husband has a couple friends that work at Langley Chrysler, and so he went over there to see if we could get a red vehicle to borrow,” Jen said.

Then on Dec. 19 around noon they set out in a red Jeep Gladiator. Sean as Santa, Jen dressed as an elf and her sister a reindeer.

“We were out there for about five hours driving and stopping at places… and that day, it was pouring rain, but didn’t stop the kids from wanting to see Santa,” Jen laughed.

And Santa didn’t come empty handed.

The couple prepared treat bags for all the kids.

“He had his gloves and his mask,” Jen said, noting they were mindful of taking all precautions during the pandemic.

But pandemic or not the couple said they plan to do it again next Christmas.

“The kids faces were just so happy and it made us so happy because this year has been terrible. And so we’re just happy to bring some joy to some other people’s lives,” Jen said fighting back tears.

And as for Jen’s nephew, his faith was restored.

“On Christmas Eve, my husband dressed up as Santa… and he went outside and was ringing his sleigh bells,” she retold.

Her nephew was elated and began to alert the house Santa was in the yard.

“Now my nephew believes in Santa, so we’re good,” she laughed.


@JotiGrewal_
joti.grewal@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ChristmasLangleySanta Claus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

.
LETTER: People must change their actions to slow global warming, Langley student writes

Grade 7 students at Gordon Greenwood Elementary were tasked with writing about climate change.

.
LETTER: Glaciers disappearing faster than in previous decades, Langley student writes

Grade 7 students at Gordon Greenwood Elementary were tasked with writing about climate change.

Prince Philip and then Princess Elizabeth – then married only four years and heir to the throne – waved to thousands who gathered in Fort Langley in Oct. 26, 1951 to see the royal couple. (Langley Centennial Museum archives/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langleyites bid adieu to Prince Philip

Local historians and the Trinity Western University president share thoughts and memories

President of the West Coast Fine Arts Show, Brian Croft, said pandemic restrictions necessitated a shift to an entirely online event this year, running until April 30. (File photo)
The West Fine Art Show shifts to an online-only event amid tighter health orders

Website version retains the flavour of the annual live exhibition

Keith Gibson of Preston GM with a Chevrolet Bolt. Electric cars made up almost 10 per cent of new light vehicle sales in B.C. last year, the government says. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
More electric cars, charging stations coming to Langley

Car dealers and local governments are prepping for an EV future

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

British Columbia Attorney General David Eby. (Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Attorney General covers housing, homelessness and justice reform in Surrey Zoom

‘I think it would be really great to hold some sessions in Surrey,’ Eby says of legislative assembly

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(File photo)
Youths confront man seen masturbating while walking his dog

Police say it happened Thursday (April 8) on walking path in Surrey

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed on April 4, according to a statement from police. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police name victim following city’s fourth homicide of 2021

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed Sunday in the Downtown Eastside

Sunset Manor, an assisted living facility in Chilliwack owned by the Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Chilliwack, pictured here in October 2020, had its third COVID-19 outbreak declared on April 9, 2021. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
3rd COVID outbreak at care home run by Chilliwack church known for opposing vaccinations

30-bed Sunset Manor owned and operated by Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Chilliwack

A man wears a face mask past the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Calls for stricter action in B.C. as COVID-19 variants projected to climb

Jens von Bergmann says the province has taken a ‘wait and see’ approach when early action is needed

Most Read