VIDEO: Aldergrove school holds COVID-safe breakfast with Santa

The jolly old elf was wearing a face shield at Aldergrove’s Shortreed school breakfast with Santa on Wednesday, Dec. 8. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)The jolly old elf was wearing a face shield at Aldergrove’s Shortreed school breakfast with Santa on Wednesday, Dec. 8. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Shortreed students lined up at buffet-style tables in the Aldergrove school’s gymnasium, then returned to their classrooms to have breakfast. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)Shortreed students lined up at buffet-style tables in the Aldergrove school’s gymnasium, then returned to their classrooms to have breakfast. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Shortreed students lined up at buffet-style tables in the school gymnasium, then returned to classrooms to have their breakfast. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)Shortreed students lined up at buffet-style tables in the school gymnasium, then returned to classrooms to have their breakfast. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Shortreed students lined up at buffet-style tables in the school gymnasium, then returned to classrooms to have their breakfast. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)Shortreed students lined up at buffet-style tables in the school gymnasium, then returned to classrooms to have their breakfast. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Youth care worker Lindsay Romas was one of several elves helping organize breakfast with Santa on Wednesday, Dec. 8. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)Youth care worker Lindsay Romas was one of several elves helping organize breakfast with Santa on Wednesday, Dec. 8. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Pancakes were cooking at various locations around Shortreed school early in the morning before students arrived, to avoid overloading the electrical system before breakfast with Santa, on Wednesday, Dec. 8. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)Pancakes were cooking at various locations around Shortreed school early in the morning before students arrived, to avoid overloading the electrical system before breakfast with Santa, on Wednesday, Dec. 8. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Long before Santa arrived at Shortreed Community Elementary School in Aldergrove on Wednesday, Dec. 8, the hallways were filled with the smell of pancakes and sausages.

Before students arrived, teachers and volunteers had been cooking at several different locations throughout the school at 27330 28th Ave., including hallways and the teachers’ lounge, to avoid overloading the school electrical system.

There were even gluten-free flapjacks.

Teachers and volunteers dressed up as elves with flashing Christmas lights, and many students wore their holiday best.

Before the pandemic, the annual event would have seen all the kids and their families gather in the gymnasium to have breakfast with Santa.

Then COVID-19 hit, and everything changed, principal Chris Wejr recalled.

It was a little different last year,” Wejr told the Langley Advance Times.

“Santa had less time with the kids.”

Shortreed student Megan Chadwick dressed in her holiday best for breakfast with Santa at the Aldergrove school on Wednesday, Dec. 8. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Shortreed student Megan Chadwick dressed in her holiday best for breakfast with Santa at the Aldergrove school on Wednesday, Dec. 8. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

This year, the kids lined up, one classroom at a time, to get their plates filled at buffet-style tables in the gymnasium, then took their plates back to their classrooms to have breakfast.

Then, students walked into the school outdoor atrium for a sit-down COVID-safe encounter with Santa, who was wearing a protective, transparent face shield.

The jolly old elf chatted with the kids at a distance, explaining how he has a magical key that allows him to get into homes when everyone is sleeping, then posed for a group picture.

“We’re doing it outside this year again, to make sure that Santa can be around the kids and not have to worry about all the different protocols of being inside,” Wejr remarked.

“We want to spread that joy in a safe place.”

School youth care worker Lindsay Romas was one the elves.

“It’s just a a super jolly time,” Romas remarked.

“It really makes it feel like Christmas. We have a number of retired staff who come in and volunteer their time,” Romas added.

“They keep coming back each year. Doing it for the kids, to see that magic on their face, makes it all worth it”

Mrs. Peterson’s kindergarten class at Shortreed school in Aldergrove settled in with their breakfast on Wednesday, Dec. 8. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Mrs. Peterson’s kindergarten class at Shortreed school in Aldergrove settled in with their breakfast on Wednesday, Dec. 8. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

About four hundred students, along with staff and volunteers took part.

More pictures from the day can be viewed online at the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.

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