The Happy Tree

Da Mall

You can scratch “giant, intimidating animatronic Christmas trees with smooth baritone voices” from the list of things your children fear, according to the most reliable source of all.

“As a matter of fact they get a little more scared with Santa than they do with me,” The Avalon Mall’s Happy Tree said in a recent interview with The Scope. “I get along really good with all the kids.”

Whatever the kids think, their parents definitely aren’t nervous about facing the Tree. It has been a very successful collection site for Christmas gifts for underprivileged children for 30 years. This year even more people have been coming out to donate and figure out where the dude’s voice is coming from (hint: Look to your right).

“That’s been full at least three or four dozen times,” Happy says, referencing the huge red gift drop-off box in front of him. “This has been a real good year, a bumper year.”

The project is a joint effort of the Avalon Mall, The Salvation Army, and VOCM Cares.
“The toys, they’re distributed by the Salvation Army to all the needy children in and around St. John’s,” says Happy, moving his big blue eyes from side to side.

— Kerri Breen
Suggestion for a nook?