There was no jolly Santa Claus flying in on a shiny red sleigh handing out toys to good little girls and boys.
Instead the children at Day Star Kids Learning Center were greeted by SlapJack, whose sleigh of choice was the Jackalopes team bus. And instead of toys, the hockey team mascot handed out game tickets and candy canes.
"Our philosophy as an organization is not only do we want to provide quality, affordable entertainment. We want to make the community a better place to live," Assistant General Manager Bill Levy said.
Members of the Odessa Jackalopes joined SlapJack as he toured six different places bringing with them a little holiday cheer.
SlapJack’s first stop of the day was the learning center. After handing out candy and tickets, the kids received the mascot’s autograph while singing Christmas carols.
Toddlers from Sandra Llanez’s class surrounded the jackalope they called ‘Rabbit,’ while kids from a nearby classroom peeked in curiously at the giant mascot.
Day care teacher Gloria Lopez said she was just as surprised to see SlapJack as the kids were.
Lopez said she was pleased with the visit because it allowed the kids to become familiar with the game.
"Some don’t get a chance to see it," Lopez said.
Sammy Baeza, 5, said he hopes to go to a hockey game after the visit from the Jackalopes.
"After we get tickets, we go to the game," Baeza said. "I’m going to ask my mom."
>> Day Star Learning Center.
>> Sienna Nursing and Rehabilitation.
>> Midland Soup Kitchen and Ministry.
>> Salvation Army toy delivery at Newswest9 Studios.
>> Boys and Girls Club.
>> Pearl House.