- Santa’s Workshop logo

Want to help a child before Christmas?

Here in Seymour, it’s easy to do.

The simple solution is to be a “Secret Santa,” as your donation, no matter the amount, will directly be used to help local children at the upcoming Santa’s Workshop event set for this Friday, Dec. 3, at the Seymour YMCA gymnasium.

“It’s a key component of making this event a big success every year,” explained Alicia Hagen, the workshop’s chairman for more than two decades. “I’ve got several individuals and businesses who every year give to us as Secret Santas, but we can always use additional help for the kids.” Santa’s Workshop is sponsored by the Seymour Parent- Teacher Organization (PTO).

Each year, the event draws more than 1,000 shoppers to the Seymour YMCA. Hagen said Monday that she’s again filled all of her vendor booths, nearly 50 of them, offering holiday shoppers of all ages a wide variety of merchandise.

One thing the PTO does every year for Santa’s Workshop is give each child in the pre-school through fifth grade a $5 bill to spend.

“No child goes without having the $5 the PTO provides them,” Hagen said. “And that’s one thing that our Secret Santas assist with at Santa’s Workshop. When you are providing $5 to hundreds of children, it adds up.

“I think it’s one of the most-wonderful things about our Santa’s Workshop. Every child gets the opportunity to shop, even if they show up with no money.”

Anyone who wants to donate as a Secret Santa is asked to contact Hagen at 417-840-7859. Donations also can be mailed in care of Santa’s Workshop to P.O. Box 598, Seymour, MO. 65746.

After being canceled a year ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Santa’s Workshop returns in full force this year, as the event opens at 8 a.m. and continues until 6 p.m.

The entire gymnasium will be bustling with activity.

Admission is free.

The event is open to the public.

“I like to say our drawing card is unique gifts for Christmas at affordable prices,” Hagen said.

Free gift wrapping is offered to all shoppers.

Concessions also are available, courtesy of the PTO, with a wide variety of food items available.

Hagen said pictures with Santa Claus are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A variety of door-prize drawings, where registration is free, takes place at 4:30 p.m.

And the event’s annual gingerbread-house contest starts at noon.

“All entries must be to us by noon,” Hagen said. “The cost to enter is only $5.”

Contest requirements?

“The only requirement is that everything on the gingerbread house must be edible,” Hagen noted.

First, second and third prizes will be offered in the contest, as well as a People’s Choice Award and a Santa’s Choice Award.

Hagen encouraged everyone in the community to mark the event on their calendars.

“Santa’s Workshop really is an event for everyone,” she said. “For those who have attended, they understand how it really is a community celebration and a great way for Seymour to kick off the holidays.”

A full-page advertisement previewing Santa’s Workshop appears elsewhere in this week’s newspaper.

The ad lists the times that students at the Seymour Elementary School, as well as the Little Blessings Daycare of Seymour, will be visiting the event, so parents and family members can be present when their children are shopping.

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