By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson
Dec. 4, 2019 (Jamul) Want your picture with a Santa that is registered with FORBS (fraternal order of the real bearded santas)? And, not only that, but have your picture in a Christmas-themed treehouse built by Treehouse Masters of Animal Planet fame?
Your chance to do that is here. Kathie Wellington, of Jamul, is offering that opportunity and more this weekend, Dec. 7 -8th, from 9 a.m. -4 p.m. The cost is $50 per family but is a fundraiser for families in need. Originally, Santa’s Treehouse opened Christmas 2013.
“In 2013 it was built on Animal Planet’s Treehouse Masters TV show,” said Kathie Wellington’s daughter, Vikki Powers. “After it aired, we had a lot of people in the community, and other states, reach out to see if they could visit. We decided to start a photo op with santa in the treehouse, and since then it has grown into a Santa’s Treehouse experience that benefits three families in need during the holidays.”
It’s not all telling Santa what you want or if you were naughty or nice it benefits those less fortunate.
“We select local families and make their Christmas wishes come true,” said Powers.
What surprises attendees the most?
“I would say that most people are surprised that they would have a Santa themed treehouse on the property year-round,” she said.
How did using a FORBS real bearded santa come about?
“My mom is part of an organization called FORBS (fraternal order of real beard santas),” said Powers. “So, we hire a real bearded Santa from the organization. Actually, we have two this year.”
More about the experience:
“We take payment on santaclaustreehouse.com and also reservations. $50 per family, which includes digital download of pictures, hot cocoa, and cookies, candy canes. People use these pictures for their Christmas cards,” said Powers. “It is Santa’s workshop---it features a fireplace, trapdoor, Christmas tree, santa’s workbench and santa’s throne. We do have props for the families to use ---such as a gingerbread house, a hot cocoa stand, a mini-red truck farm set, a tree farm set.”
“One weekend only – Dec 7 & 8th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” she continued. “People can bring their dogs to include in the photo but they must call ahead. We do have props for the families to use ---such as a gingerbread house, a hot cocoa stand, a mini-red truck farm set, a tree farm set.”
Details on the shoot, for $50.00, are:
*Additional poses are available for $5 each
Example: 1st "pose" (Mom, Dad, Children) Additional "pose(s)" (1 Child with Santa)
or (All Siblings with Santa) or any combination of your choosing.
They take several pictures of each "pose" to get it perfect. ALL of the images are included in a customer’s digital download.
Reservations are required at The Christmas Family Portrait Fundraising event.
Santa's Treehouse Non-Profit 501 (C) (3)
15263 Lawson Valley Road
Jamul, CA 91935
619 669-0764 for more information