Santa's elves are busying themselves making toys in the high school wood shop. The "elves," Moffat County High School (MCHS) students in advanced wood classes, and their work area, proclaimed "Santa's Wood Shop," are getting into the spirit by constructing handmade products for area children.
"They almost become little kids in themselves," said their "Santa," woods instructor Craig Conrad.
The "elves" seem to be enjoying the thrill of the holidays and the excitement of giving.
"I love it and Mr. Conrad makes it fun," said senior Dylan Brown. "It is good to give back to the community. It also gives us a break from our yearly projects."
And they don't shy away from hard work and quality.
"Some kids do such an incredible paint job," Conrad said. "It almost turns into a competition."
Some of the products being created can be seen at stores in the area. According to Conrad, rocking horses similar to the ones being made by students are sold for about $150. The rocking horses produced by students may even be better once they are complete with paint and other accessories.
Students feel a tinge of excitement knowing their personal work will put a smile on a face this season.
"A lot of kids will really like what we are doing here," said woods student Cody Dove
Samuelson's True Value Hardware in Craig donates the supplies needed to produce the gifts and woods students take a break from their personal projects to share in the Christmas attitude.
Conrad has set Thursday for projects to be completed and they will then be displayed throughout town for residents to catch a glimpse before projects are given to children.
Each year the toys are distributed to community members and this year the lucky ones will be children of the employees at The Memorial Hospital.
According to Conrad, the program is designed to give back a little something to groups who give to the community.
"We reward people who support organizations like United Way and Toys for Tots," Conrad said. "Many are doing very big and advanced projects and the quality of the items is pretty neat."
Festivities this year will take place at 7 p.m. Dec. 15. The elves will distribute their handiwork, the choir from Sunset Elementary School will fill the shop with songs and even Santa will be present to immerse the crowd in even more yuletide spirit.