I live REALLY close to Bedford! Can you come to my house?
Sorry! We only visit residences in Bedford, Massachusetts, USA, 01730!
My plans changed! I need to add kids, remove kids, or cancel!
No problem. If it’s close to Gift Drop day and not a significant number of people, just let them know at Gift Drop. Otherwise, email firstname.lastname@example.org before December 23rd, or call (781)275-1680 (anytime).
I’ll be at a friend’s house, or am having friends over, should I register families separately?
Nope. Please only register once at the house/address and under the family name of the house you will be at Christmas Eve. Also, please pre-arrange Gift Drop to have your gifts wrapped in the same wrapping paper and labeled with the family name and address where you will be celebrating.
How much does this cost to participate?
Our program is free for all, run entirely by volunteers, and is supported by donations. Expenses exceed $4000 each year and we donate as much as possible, Please see our donations page for ways to contribute. Your donation goes to our storage, rental, costume, cleaning, mailing fees, business fees, and gifts for families requesting support.
I can’t afford a gift, or I want to donate a gift to someone who can’t afford it.
Each year we support a handful of families and provide the gift(s) for Santa to bring on a visit. We typically have generous individuals contact us who would like to provide these gifts anonymously. We sometimes have more generous people offering to supply gifts than those requesting gifts. Bonus donations and surplus finances are gifted to social workers and counselors in town for families who need support.
If you are going through a rough time, please register and leave us a note of the gender and age of your child/children and their interests, and Santa will bring a suitable gift on Christmas Eve. You will need to be home and receive the gifts on Christmas Eve during Santa’s visiting hours and you may receive a phone call or email to confirm or to find out more information about a wish list. Your information and situation will be kept private by default.
If you would like to offer to shop and donate for a gift, you can also include a note in your registration, and we will contact you if the need comes up. We also use some of our monetary donations towards unfilled gifts, so please consider a financial donation as well.
Oh no! I forgot to register! Is it too late?
We aim to accept all families who want to and are eligible to participate. Use our late registration phone number or see if the online registration form is still available if you think you are late. As a last resort just show up on Gift Drop day. If it’s past gift drop day, call one of the phone numbers. Our volunteers work to be accommodating and try to get everyone in and can generally accomplish that!
I didn’t get a postcard this year.
We have historically paid to use the General Mailing system in town. Our volunteers print, fold and drop off postcards to the USPS, fees are paid and what happens from there was out of our control. Sorry. We know people were not receiving them. With rising costs and the availability of electronic resources, we have decided to phase out the large scale mailing.
The best thing to do is plan to register the week before Thanksgiving every year that you plan to participate. You’ll help our planning, save some recycling, save our volunteer run program money, and can rest assured you are signed up to participate!
What is up with the age cut-off?
Our program is designed to have the best experience for our community, which includes our volunteers. If there are no excited “believers” in the house, Santa generally doesn’t have a great time. If you have young kids and older kids, all children are definitely welcome to participate and receive gifts. If you have a house full of teenagers and no one under the age of 12, it’s a great time to start volunteering with our program!
How do I register?
You may register by filling out the online form (preferred) OR
by calling us at: (781)275-1680. If you are calling, leave a message with the following information: [your name (please spell your last name), your address, your phone number and the number of gifts to be delivered]. You only need to choose one method of registration. We may call if we have additional questions, so please be sure your phone number is provided. If you are unsure of how many gifts you will want Santa to deliver or if you think that your plans/numbers change, please register now with your best guess and contact us later to update your plans.
Christmas Eve Visit
Do I tip Santa?
Our Santas are volunteers and are happy to be there. They should not accept tips (or be offered refreshments!) The best thing you can do to thank Santa is to make the visit smooth and easy. Be home on time, put away your dogs, clear and light your walkways, have your teenagers and inebriated house guests treat Santa respectfully, and limit the number of pictures and conversations so Santa can complete the rounds in a timely manner.
What if Santa is late?
Our planning team has Santa’s visits down to a science. Santa tries to complete his route by 7:30pm, but he will be visiting many families, and sometimes, he gets delayed. If Santa does not arrive by 8:30pm, call 781-275-1680.
Oh no, we are going to church/party/show Christmas Eve or my kids go to bed early! Can Santa still come?
Ideally, you will be home during the entire visiting window (5:30-8pm). We cannot schedule or promise specific visit times. If you have a small conflict (30 minutes) at the beginning or end of the visiting window, we may be able to accommodate by putting you at the beginning or end of the route. Please leave a note in your registration and also remind the check-in table at Gift Check to leave a note.
When will Santa arrive? We can’t wait!
Santa should arrive anytime between 5:30pm and 8:00pm on Christmas Eve. Please be at home from 5:30, until Santa arrives. Make sure walkways are clear and well lit, and dogs are tied up!
Gifts /Gift Drop
I’m not around Gift Drop Day, can I drop my gift off early or late?
Yes, but first please see if you have a friend or neighbor who will be attending Gift Drop and you can send your wrapped and labeled gifts with them. Having someone deliver on Gift Drop is the easiest way and most efficient way to ensure the gifts are sorted and stored where they need to be. If you can’t find someone, email email@example.com or call David at (781)275-7631.
What are the gift restrictions?
- Keep gifts small. The total number of gifts for your stop MUST fit inside a single standard-sized pillowcase. We will not be able to accept any gifts larger than 10″x7″x3″ in size.
- One gift per child.
- Wrap all gifts for the same address in the same wrapping paper.
- Secure all wrapped gifts with tape, not string.
- For each present, on a detachable tag (a “yellow sticky” works fine), print one family name and address on the front of the tag, print the child’s first name and age on the back of the tag.
- If the child is a visitor, please use the “family name” of the family the child is visiting, because, if we must call in case of questions, we want to call the home where the gift will be delivered.
- For last minute gifts, call us at (781)275-7631 and leave a message to request special arrangements.
Where and when do I drop off gifts?
This year Gift Drop Day is Saturday December 16th, 2023 at John Glenn Middle School (JGMS) gymnasium from 9am – 5pm.
Please use the entrance closest to the gymnasium. This entrance is adjacent to the parking lot on Railroad Ave., (behind the football field bleachers – GPS users can type in “80 Railroad Ave, Bedford, MA”) on Saturday, December 17th, 2022, between 9:00am and 5:00pm. Please come as early in the day as possible.
I want to Santa to visit my holiday party! Do you rent Santas?
No, sorry. Our volunteers and costumes only go out on Christmas Eve as part of our program!