By Nacole Vickery
Photos by Denise Gary and Nacole Vickery

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The KNTR elves were busy this holiday season wrapping gifts for donations. We set up our workshop at Barnes & Noble Dana Park Village Square and set about wrapping shoppers’ treasures in festive book paper and comic bows. Children received free copies of Highlights magazine and a KNTR button while they waited.

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There was much fun and laughter as the elves told wrapping jokes–don’t make us rhyme–or sang parody songs about gift wrapping: “We wanna wrap your presents, we wanna wrap your presents….” The KNTR elves engaged supporters with fun conversation and stories about the holidays, and children shared with us which gifts they had asked to receive, since we knew they could not possibly be on the naughty list. The elves even challenged each other as to who could wrap the fastest and there was heavy competition. Jessica Elf was the winner with her speed and beauty of wrapping.

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Many festively dressed shoppers were bustling about the shopping center. We were fortunate to have CindyLou Who stop by with her parents as they finished up their shopping.

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There were kids in Santa hats, a few reindeer, a caroler group from one of the nearby high schools, and even the man in the red suit—Santa—stopped by on his way for some last-minute gifts. We asked for a photo, but he laughed and said that he had left his sleigh in a loading zone and had to hurry. Not wanting to interfere with his tight schedule, we bid him farewell and wished him safe travels.

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It was a busy time for our elves! We enjoyed ourselves and made the holiday a little easier for many. We thank Barnes & Noble Dana Park for inviting Kids Need to Read to participate for the fifth year. A total of $1,236 was raised through the generous contributions of Barnes & Noble shoppers and KNTR’s industrious elves. Remember us next year for your shopping and gift wrapping needs! We will always bring the holiday cheer!

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