Santa’s helper makes ’em smile

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 26, 2003

It’s not all fun and games being one of Santa’s helpers. Just mostly.

For Donna Wilson, customer service manager at the Selma Mall, dressing in costume and assisting Santa is all part of the job.

That’s an easy task when you’re dressed in reindeer horns and an elf-like costume. Children pass by Wilson’s booth in the mall and she waves to each one. People are what make Selma a great place to live for Wilson.

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As customer service manager, Wilson rents wheelchairs and baby strollers to shoppers. She also sells small gifts and gift baskets as well as answering questions mall patrons may have.

As Santa’s helper she goes back and forth from the customer service booth to Santa’s chair. She hands out candy and helps children into Santa’s lap.

This past week wasn’t Wilson’s first experience with costumes. She recently donned the Puppy Paws outfit and took pictures with people’s pets. &uot;A lady brought in a deer, and I took a picture with a deer,&uot; Wilson said. &uot;I loved it. I thought it was cute.&uot;

Over Halloween Wilson dressed in costume for three days in a row. She dressed as a devil, Wilma Flintstone and a black cat.

But now she’s just a little helper.

Wilson started volunteering at the customer service booth about six months ago. &uot;They just needed somebody, and I was there to do it for them,&uot; she said.

The mall lets her sell small gifts at the booth in addition to assisting customers. Wilson said she’d like to have her own store at the Selma Mall at some point in the future and sell gift baskets and her artwork. &uot;It might be never, but one day it might happen,&uot; she said.

In the meantime Wilson continues to offer assistance whenever it’s needed.