Nova Scotia

Halifax girl gets visit from Santa riding in garbage truck

A REgroup waste management employee wanted to surprise a little girl who always waves when he comes to collect the garbage and recycling. With the help of his fellow elves and some Christmas magic, he pulled it off.

'Her life is completely changed because two magical elves and Santa were here'

Santa and his elves pose in front of four-year-old Audrey's house. From left: Derek Yeates, Steve Bostick, Steve Croft, Bree Manning, Audrey Manning and Liz Kuhn. (Liz Kuhn)

One lucky four-year-old in Halifax got a surprise visit from Santa this week.

Audrey Manning enjoys waving to the REgroup employees when they come to collect garbage and recyclables at her house every Tuesday.

But something was different when a worker jumped off the truck to talk to them recently, Audrey's mother, Bree, told CBC's Information Morning.

"He said, 'Maybe if you're really good this week, Santa will be driving my truck next week' and I thought 'OK … she's going to remember this,'" said Bree.

Sure enough, an elf appeared at the family's door on Tuesday morning and asked to speak to Audrey.

Audrey Manning was very excited to receive the surprise gifts from Santa and his elves. (Bree Manning)

"She comes flying around the corner, and her eyes and jaw dropped," said Manning, describing her daughter's reaction.

When the pair stepped outside, Santa was pulling up in a garbage truck with a load of presents for Audrey.

"[Audrey] was looking at me, and I was looking at her because I thought … what is happening? This is magic!" said Bree.

Derek Yeates, one of the elves behind the magical visit, asked his supervisor if he could make the special delivery on his route.

He enlisted the help of co-workers Steve Croft and Steve Bostick, who's been donning a big red suit on his own route lately. 

Yeates said his only concern was that Audrey wouldn't be home when they arrived. He's happy they managed to pull it off.

'It makes my heart melt'

"I feel ecstatic. It's so priceless, it makes my heart melt," said Yeates, who enjoys waving to the children along his route every week.

For Manning, finding out the visit was planned just for her daughter was emotional.

"I cried," she said. "I thought it was what the city was doing … and then when I spoke with REgroup, they gave me the actual story, and my husband and I were just completely touched."

As for Audrey, Bree said it was the experience of a lifetime.

"Her life is completely changed because two magical elves and Santa were here."

With files from CBC's Information Morning

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