Fifth annual Holiday Store for Kids, Photos with Santa planned by NWOSU Art Society members

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Fifth annual Holiday Store for Kids, Photos with Santa planned by NWOSU Art Society members

Rowen Cook with Santa Rowen Cook, son of Dustin and Rebecca Cook of Alva, visits with Santa last year during the Northwestern Art Society (NAS) Photos with Santa and Holiday Store for Kids event. NAS is once again sponsoring this event on Saturday, Dec. 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Center on the Alva campus.

Members of the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Art Society (NAS) are preparing for their fifth annual Holiday Gift Store for Kids, as well as Photos with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 13, in the Northwestern Student Center in Alva from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“The Holiday Store for Kids has become somewhat of a tradition for our organization,” Angelia Case, NAS sponsor, said. “We love hearing stories from our returning shopper’s parents about how excited their children are to see others opening the gifts they purchased for them.”

Case explained that parents/guardians are welcome to bring their children to the Holiday Store to shop “on their own” in a safe environment under adult supervision provided by NAS club members and other volunteers.

“We only allow a few children to go through the store at one time to make it a positive experience for everyone,” Case said. “So, while you’re waiting to come into the store, Santa Claus will be available for photos right next door.”

The Holiday Store allows the children to experience the thrill of “secretly” buying gifts, as well as benefiting from the practical lessons of budgeting, handling money and making decisions, but most of all, the pride and joy of gift giving, and with Santa in the next room, children will have a chance to let him know what they’d like this year.

Shopping at the Holiday Store for Kids Sarah Brown (middle), daughter of Andrew and Cathy Brown of Alva, gets a little help with her shopping at the Holiday Store for Kids from Northwestern Art Society volunteer Shawna Gilbert (left), and her grandpa Rod Murrow. The store will be open Saturday, Dec. 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Center Ranger Room, and Photos with Santa will be in the room next door.

A wide variety of gift items will be available for purchase ranging in price from about 50 cents to less than $20. Case said that parents are encouraged to help their children make a list of who they’d like to purchase items for and the approximate amount of money budgeted for each gift. They can then provide their children with a set amount of money to use for shopping. NAS club members can help assist each child to stay within their budget.

“We welcome parents and family members to accompany their children through the store if they so choose, but if your child wants to keep your present a surprise, we’ll have club members available to help them stay within their budget,” Case said. “Our club members and volunteers also will help get the gift items bagged and ready for giving during the holidays.”

NAS is offering this holiday store more as a community service to kids rather than as a fundraising event, but the group does hope to profit a little to help fund the various projects the group plans each school year, including the annual spring art show, Case said.

For a small fee, all ages, whether in groups or individually, are welcome to have their photo taken with Santa, who is excited to return to the Art Society’s annual event to visit and take photos with the young and not-so young.

“We realize budgets are tight, so we’re trying to provide a fairly inexpensive way to receive a nice photo that can be used for reprinting, holiday cards or just to have,” Case said.

Several photos will be taken and then downloaded to a laptop computer for immediate viewing, Case said. Photos can be selected, and for a flat fee of $5 for each photo selected, the purchaser will receive the original digital negative file(s) saved to their personal jump drive or via email. NAS also will have several holiday card templates available if anyone would like to use their Santa photo on the design. Each holiday card design chosen will be an additional $5, and will be created later and emailed to the purchaser.

For more information about the Holiday Store, Photos with Santa, NAS in general, or if other members of clubs would like to volunteer their time to help in the store or to do activities outside the store while children are waiting, please contact Case at (580) 327-8577 or