Judging by the laughter and smiles on the faces of children, the annual Sole Choice Christmas Party and Celebration, held Tuesday, confirms that Christmas really is,”The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”
Sole Choice, located at 830 Murray Street in Portsmouth, looks forward to hosting the Christmas Party and Celebration each year. Nelson Smith, CEO of Sole Choice, said hosting the annual Christmas party is a glorious time for the children.
“This means everything to me. With this being Christmas time, we want to give back to the community, and I want the kids to have an enjoyable experience of seeing Santa, to talk to him and to be able to sit on his lap,” Smith said. “It is also great to be able to see the children receive gifts, and have some hot chocolate and cookies. At Christmas time I remember that as a child myself, and it meant so much to me.”
Bryan Davis, vice president of sales, and co-owner of Sole Choice, said 240 gifts would be given out, including all of the children and adults who attend the event.
“We have been hosting this since we opened, so this is our eighth year,” Davis said. “This year we are giving out 240 gifts. Every year, Nelson, our CEO has been the Santa Claus, and he starts growing his beard in August and by this time he is ready to go. We have enjoyed this. We’ve opened up our factory to the employees, their kids, grand kids, and the entire neighborhood. Anyone that wants to come is welcome. We make sure the kids have toys, and then we give a gift bag to the parents, a ham, cake mix, where they can make a birthday cake for Jesus for Christmas, and then some fruits and vegetables for the kids.”
Sole Choice is simply sharing the blessings that have been bestowed upon them.
“There is a cost, but we are blessed. We are just giving back to the community,” Davis said. “God has richly blessed our company, and through those blessings we are able to give back, so none of it is ours to begin with, it all belongs to God.”
Davis said the event binds families together, and allows Sole Choice to connect with the community.
“We make a place here, where they can get their hot chocolate and cookies. Several of our employees have stayed over tonight to help, so they are working extra hours tonight. Then they can come over here, and enjoy their cookies and hot chocolate, and open their gifts and enjoy a time of fellowship with their family,” Davis said. “They can also take some more photos if they want. The other nice thing about this is that it is all low pressure, which allows the parents to be able to take pictures with their kids with Santa, which makes for a very nice time. They don’t have to spend money to do it, which makes it really convenient. Some of the people who were here when the doors first opened, are still here enjoying themselves, and that’s what we want. We want the families to come together and enjoy their evening and just be around each other. This is also a time for the community to be able to come, and for us to be able to meet them, and open up our factory to them, and try to be a blessing to as many as we can during this season.”
Reach Portia Williams at 740-464-3862, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.