Santa, clutching a large, black trash bag full of toys, strolled down Paige Street in Schenectady on Friday, looking for families he could bless with a little more Christmas joy.
“We are trying to share the real meaning of Christmas,” said Angelicia Morris, who joined Santa in passing out presents to her Hamilton Hill neighbors. “Love, peace, generosity and serving the needs of the less fortunate.”
Morris, who works as the executive director of the Schenectady County Human Rights Commission, said the Bridge Church had given her five bags full of toys and other holiday goodies; the church group had raised thousands of dollars worth of toys during a toy drive this week.
Morris gave away most of the toys to a pair of local organizations she works with, Team Go and the Altamont Program, but she was left with a bagful more and figured she would go door-to-door, bringing Santa along for the trip.
Santa and Morris started at her next-door neighbors’ home , where two sisters, Dominique Wiggins, 12, and Kimora Wiggins, 11, and their brother, Donald Wiggins, 7, still dressed in pajamas, opened the door to welcome Santa to their porch.
“I had to leave my reindeer and sleigh in the North Pole, because there is no snow in Schenectady,” Santa told Donald.
“I know that,” Donald replied.
“Ask Santa for some snow, and I will make sure that we get some,” Santa added.
“Ok,” Donald responded.
But Santa was just getting started. Have the kids in Schenectady been good this year?
“For the most part they have all been good,” Santa said as he walked from one house to the next. “I didn’t put any coal in any kids’ stockings this year.”
Marvin Coleman Jr., 7, noticed Santa from a few houses away, where he was hanging out outside with his dad, Marvin Coleman Sr. “Hi, Santa,” he said, waving at the man in the red suit.
“Come on over,” Santa said.
Marvin Jr. rushed down the street toward Santa, who rewarded the young man with his pick from the toy bag. He picked a Batman board game. He and his dad walked back home, where they had spent most of the day playing with Legos — another Christmas gift.
Once kids on the street got wind of what Santa was up to, he was handing out gifts left and right. And Morris, standing by his side, introduced herself to neighbors, pointing out her house down the block.
“Santa, I like what you are doing, I like what you are doing,” said Cordell Gailliard, who strolled up to Santa with his young son Cameron.
At a house near by, 4-year-old Zues Cruz jumped on the front porch with a smile and a warm welcome. “Santa!” he shouted. He didn’t shy away from the gifts either, grabbing an armful of games.
“I got this and I got that,” Zues said as he wandered back into the house to show off his new toys. “And this …”
Reach Gazette reporter Zachary Matson at 395-3120, [email protected] or @zacharydmatson on Twitter.