Where better to be on Christmas Day than on the knees of Santa and Mrs. Claus? Tyler Randall, 2, had his photo taken with the popular couple as part of The Miracle on Idaho Street, a dinner plus activities at Old Chicago in Downtown Boise Tuesday.
Its been a tradition the last three years, being a single mom, says Tylers mother, Brandi Cockerham, who this year brought her significant other along to join in the merriment. When we first came here, I was homeless for a little bit. This is making a tradition with my son, something to look forward to as he grows up.
This is the ninth annual Christmas Day event for the restaurant, which served 250 pizzas, two kinds of pasta, chili, garlic bread and salad plus brownies or pie free to 1,200 people. About 140 volunteers helped set up on Christmas Eve and came again on Christmas Day to serve.
Im trying to show (my kids) a different meaning to Christmas, not just the Santa part, says Lori Dille, who volunteered along with her two teenagers.
After dinner, families went upstairs to the Rose Room for balloons, games, face painting and photos with Santa. Children were given a backpack filled with school supplies and a gift card from Payless Shoes. Adults got a $10 gift card to Albertsons.
Its just rewarding, says Christa Niemsyk, a former Old Chicago employee who has been a volunteer since the beginning, and one of the organizers for seven years. To see the smile on someones face, or even just a picture with Santa. Or a mother whos so thankful we have diapers for her baby. Or giving someone just a warm place to sit down and eat.