It was heartbreaking, Nathan Yuellig said, when he and his wife saw two little girls crying last year because their family didn’t have the money for them to visit with Santa Claus.
“It was someplace we went last year to meet Santa and take a picture with our 1-year-old son,” Yuellig said. “We saw a family walking up with two beautiful girls – they had dresses on and their hair was done and you could tell some time went into getting them ready to meet Santa – and they were crying. Someone said they didn’t have any money, and that broke our hearts. I ran after them to try to tell them that we’d pay, but it was too late. They were already gone.”
Nathan and Lindsey Yuellig decided they didn’t want to see that scene again this year. So this Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., the Yuelligs and many of their family members will host a free Come Meet Santa Claus event at the Bridgewood Childcare Center, one mile north of Hillsboro at 8233 SR 73.
There will an 8-foot by 8-foot scenic back drop where families can take pictures of their children with Santa, hot chocolate and snacks, activities and crafts for the children, then from 6-7 p.m. a musical light show.
Nathan Yuellig said he’s aware that there are other free Christmas events Saturday in Hillsboro including Santa’s Workshop in The Times-Gazette Community Room from 4:30 to 6 p.m., the annual Christmas parade starting at 7 p.m. (it should arrive in the uptown area around 7:20 p.m.), and then a live nativity scene with Christmas music and the telling of the Christmas story after the parade. The nativity scene will be located on Gov. Trimble Place between The Times-Gazette and Paint Creek fire station.
Those events were originally schedule for Nov. 28, but were reschedule due to inclement weather.
“We don’t mean to take away from those events and when we saw they were rescheduled it was like, oh no,” said Yuellig, a 2000 Hillsboro High School graduate. “It seems like we have a lot Christmas things in town that we didn’t have last year. So maybe people could come out to our place and visit with Santa, see the light show, then go up town and see the parade and other things.
“It could be a magical day for all the kids out there. That’s the whole goal of this thing we’re doing – it’s for the kids.”
The Yuellig family has erected a manger scene on the Highland County Courthouse lawn each of the last several years. Nathan said they have also hosted free Halloween events with the help of students from Hillsboro High School, where a sister and brother-in-law, Jeff and Jenna Horick, work.
“We just enjoy doing things as a family and we love this time of year for all its traditions, music and everything else,” Nathan said. “If we have just one kid that we brighten up in any way, it’s worth it.”
There will be other characters besides Santa at the Yuelligs event and Nathan said the light show will include a big face on a Christmas tree that will sing to the music.
“It will be interesting for the kids,” he said. “They can make full day of it and then go see the parade. I know that’s what we’re going to do.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.