~l_KidsChristmas - Chelsea Lau

The sound of over 40 children filled the Student Commons room behind Starbucks Dec. 2.

Santa was visiting.

“Oliver’s never seen Santa before, and I turned around and he was just sitting on Santa’s lap,” said Christine Lockett of her three-year-old son.

Lockett, a law clerk student, brought Oliver and her four-year-old daughter Ava to the Kids Christmas Party hosted by the AC Hub so they could meet Santa and make gingerbread houses.

“It’s nice to be able to bring them to my school and have them see where I am all day,” said Lockett.

The annual event has been going on for over a decade and is put on for student parents and their kids.

“I thought it was fun for the kids because we’re missing a lot of stuff in the evenings with homework,” said Lockett. “So I thought it was really nice to have something for the kids to do with us at school.”

International student and mother of two Leila Hojabri, went to the party with her sons Nikan, 6, and Pakan, 4, for their first time celebrating Christmas.

“To be honest we haven’t celebrated Christmas before so I’m not very familiar with all the celebration things,” said Hojabri, who moved to Ottawa from Iran with her family a year and a half ago.

Hojabri said her family has already bought a tree and are going to do all the usual Christmas traditions this year.

Summer Lan, a business administration student and volunteer at the event, also celebrates Christmas now after moving to Ottawa from China a few years ago.

“After I grew up and moved to Canada I really feel like [Christmas] is a lot of fun, especially with the snow,” said Lan. “It’s a lot of fun and I feel so happy to help out and to see the Santa.”

All the kids at the party received a free gift when they met Santa.

The first kids to sit on Santa’s lap were Greg Blodgett’s daughters Hailey, 2, and Lizzy, 3.

Blodgett, a construction engineering student, heard about the event from a poster in the hall and said it was really well put together. “It beats going to the mall any day.”