Forget the shopping list.
Forget the stress and the family feuds and the expanding waistline.
Boil the Christmas season right down to its essence, and you have the Christian celebration of Christ’s birth, and the latter-day personification of goodness incarnate, Santa Claus.
Throw in some kids and dogs and you’ve got the essence of innocence — and the scene on recent holiday Saturdays in the lobby of the Hood River Hotel.
It is all part of Santaland, a holiday partnership between the Hotel and the local Adopt A Dog program.
To raise funds for the care of animals at the Hukari Animal Shelter south of Hood River, volunteers with Adopt A Dog enlisted volunteer Santas to have their picture taken with kids — and adopt-able dogs.
Parents get keepsake photo. Adopt A Dog gets (hopefully) a $5 donation. Killer combo, and (we’re glad to say), it’s working.
The group had raised well over $1,000 as of Dec. 17, and will have Santa and puppies on hand for the last time from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Christmas Eve, Saturday, Dec. 24.
No reservations needed. But it’s probably a good idea to have some kids. Of course, adults can sit on Santa’s lap, too, although …