Students shop for their loved ones

Meadow View Elementary School special education aide Paula Harper, left, helps MVES kindergartener Allie Lovell select presents at the school's Santa shop. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

Meadow View Elementary School special education aide Paula Harper, left, helps MVES kindergartener Allie Lovell select presents at the school’s Santa shop. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – A wide smile spread across Meadow View Elementary School kindergartener Allie Lovell’s face as she handed her items to Santa shop cashier and PTO member Jennifer Harper.

“Merry Christmas!” Lovell exclaimed as she placed a scarf, a potholder and a cookbook into her bag after paying for them.

“Who are you shopping for today?” Lovell’s teacher, Paula Harper, asked.

“My mom,” Lovell said with a smile.

Lovell was among more than 15 other students perusing the school’s Santa shop at about 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 11. The shop, which was offered every day from Dec. 8-12, was manned continuously throughout the week by PTO members, and offered a one-stop-shop for students shopping for their loved ones.

The PTO will use all money generated through the shop to benefit the school’s classrooms. The shop offered a gamut of items such as Auburn and Alabama items, toys, scarves, tools, jewelry and blankets, and all items ranged from $1 to $6.

“The expanding balls have been popular,” PTO member Amber Polk said as she pointed at a basket of wire-frame collapsible spheres. “And I wish you could have seen the pet Snuggies. We’ve sold out of those.”

Classes took turns traversing the Santa shop each day, and students carefully budgeted to ensure they had enough money to purchase a gift for everyone in their families.

Kindergartener Damon Willis put much thought into his mother’s gift, and even solicited Harper’s advice before bringing his selection to the checkout line.

“You’ve still got a $5 bill, so you should get her something nice,” Harper told Willis before the student brought a pink scarf back to the checkout counter.

“This is for my dad,” Willis said, holding up a pair of camouflage ear warmers.

After purchasing the items, the kids knew exactly what they were going to do when they got home.

“Are you going to wrap it up for her?” Harper asked Lovell, pointing to her bag of gifts.

“Yes!” Lovell said as she bounced with anticipation.