Outside the Real Canadian Superstore in Langley on Saturday, the parking lot was packed and cars were doing slow circuits looking for vacant spaces to come open.
Inside, shopping carts overflowing with merchandise were lined up four and six deep as staff on the tills did their best to get people through as quickly as possible.
All in all, typical pre-holiday congestion as last-minute shoppers tried to get their buying done a few days before Christmas.
Everyone looked a little stressed.
And then Santa showed up, and people relaxed, just a little.
As the jolly old elf did a slow circuit of the store, he passed out candy canes to kids and for adults, those little devices that let you unlock a shopping cart without having to search your pockets for a loonie .
He kept getting hugged, by small people and adults.
It was the first year the store has done a Santa walk, manager Joe Viana explained.
“We just wanted to bring some holiday cheer to a chaotic last weekend of shopping,” Viana said.
Given the overwhelming positive reaction, he expects to do it again next year.
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