Whistle Stop Hobby & Toy will host Santa and his favorite elf, Lil Ricky, throughout the months of November and December to deliver another magical Christmas season.

After celebrating its 50th year in business, the local shop was handpicked by Santa as one of his Michigan Toy Headquarters. As such, Whistle Stop will help collect Santa’s letters, emails and social media messages throughout both months. Santa will read through every message and they will be stored for parents and grandparents who stop in — or pull up to the curb — to pick up wish list items. 

“In past years, Santa has visited Whistle Stop to meet the children, so when we heard he wants Whistle Stop to be his Michigan Toy Headquarters we were so excited,” co-owner Julie Everitt said.

The two-month-long holiday season will be highlighted Nov. 26 to 30, by the annual holiday sale where most items at Whistle Stop will be 20 percent off. There will be opportunities to check children’s wish lists, get top toy recommendations and save on gifts for kids of all ages. 

As the holiday draws near, Lil Ricky can be found hiding around the store and staff are offering a reward for kids who help Santa find his elf Nov. 27 to Dec. 24. Throughout both months, any sightings of Santa at Whistle Stop will be shared on social media as Santa checks the mailbox, shops for good boys and girls and looks for his favorite elf.

As always, Whistle Stop will be open for last-minute shoppers on Christmas Eve. Those without lists can ask the experts at Whistle Stop for help finding the perfect toy for any good girl or boy. Gift wrapping is also available.

“The holidays are our favorite time of year,” co-owner Rick Claggett said. “Seeing all of the joy, happiness and the spirit of giving is why we do this.” 

This year, Whistle Stop encourages giving back even more by partnering with Toys For Tots to be a toy drop site where new, unopened toys may be donated to kids in need.

Whistle Stop is located at 21714 Harper, St. Clair Shores. For more information, call (586) 771-6770 or visit whistle-stop.com.

By: GPN Staff