TOWNSEND — Townsend Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 6538 and its auxiliary will once again sponsor the Christmas Eve Santa Claus program as part of its community service and youth activities programs.

Allresidents who will have at least one child of an age who believes in Santa Claus are invited to use this service. Participation is free.

A VFW Santa Claus will visit every participating family on Christmas Eve from 5-8 p.m. He will stay for five minutes or less and hand each child a small, hand-carried gift that has been provided by the family. Picture-taking is encouraged.

Each gift must be securely wrapped, have the child’s full name and address clearly marked on the wrapping paper, and be small and light enough to be easily carried in one hand. The total of its length, width, and depth must not exceed 26 inches. Gifts that those in charge of the program consider to be too large or too heavy for Christmas Eve delivery will not be accepted. It is strongly recommended that gifts not having flat surfaces be boxed before wrapping; paper covering objects with varying contours tends to tear when many gifts are packed together.

A special Santa Claus registration form, which is being mailed to every Townsend and West Townsend postal patron, must be completed and taped to each gift. If more than one child at an address is to receive a gift, you are asked to fill out a separate form for each child. Extra forms will be available at the drop-off location.

VFW personnel suggest that you also drop-off a gift for each older child who will be present on Christmas Eve, since those believing in Santa Claus may wonder why the older children do not receive a gift.

To be included, you must bring the gift you wish to have Santa present to your child to the 491 Main St., West Townsend, VFW Function Hall on Sunday, Nov. 18, from 1-4 p.m. Designated representatives of the Townsend VFW Post and its Auxiliary will be on hand to accept the gifts.

Gifts will only be accepted then due to the large number of participants and the complexity of arranging the routes. If you wish to be included in the program and cannot make it to the VFW Function Hall, arrange to have a friend or neighbor bring the gift to the drop-off location. Be sure that person has all the pertinent information needed to complete the registration form.

The Townsend VFW Post and Auxiliary delivered gifts to more than 332 children at 111 Townsend addresses on Christmas Eve 2017.