Skins Santa Shoppe Tradition Makes Area Children Christmas Believers

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One child smiles gleefully as he holds his new toy in the middle of the Redskins locker room. (Credit: Kimberly Suiters/All-News 99.1 WNEW)

One child smiles gleefully as he holds his new toy in the middle of the Redskins locker room. (Credit: Kimberly Suiters/All-News 99.1 WNEW)

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LANDOVER, Md. (CBSDC) - The Redskins locker room was converted into Santa’s workshop for a day so underprivileged children from DC, Maryland and Virginia could receive an extra special early Christmas gift from the burgundy and gold.

The annual Skins Santa Shoppe, usually recognized by reporters as the Redskins locker room, was decked from floor to ceiling with holiday cheer as 1,000 area children arrived bus by bus.

The charity – made possible by the Washington Redskins and U.S. Marines – allowed for each child to pick one unwrapped present, all the while in the presence of some of their favorite athletes.

It was a chance for children, otherwise unable to experience the luxury of waking up Christmas morning and settling under the tree to unwrap fancy gifts, to feel the warmth of holiday cheer.

Wide receiver Josh Morgan, a DC native, signs a miniature football for a child. (Credit: Kimberly Suiters/All-News 99.1 WNEW)

Wide receiver Josh Morgan, a DC native, signs a miniature football for a child. (Credit: Kimberly Suiters/All-News 99.1 WNEW)

Along with one very nice gift, whether it was a fancy toy or an Easy Bake Oven, the tots filed into the converted locker room at Fed Ex Field with their parents to be greeted by fifteen Redskins themselves.

“I grew up in the same neighborhood and played in the same parks,” said Redskins receiver Josh Morgan. “So it definitely means a lot to me.”

Each child was also handed a miniature football – which they could use to collect autographs from the players on hand – and a Santa hat as they smiled from ear to ear.

“Sometimes I still wish I was still that young and had that innocence,” Morgan said. “It just motivates you to make the next child that much happier.”

Star running back Alfred Morris, currently third in the NFL in rushing yards, truly embraced the experience.

“Coach (Shanahan) did a great job of getting a lot character guys,” he said. “A lot of us just love giving back and we don’t mind spending our free time with these kids.”

While the experience was intended to bring warm spirits to the children, even some of the parents came away a little something.

“I got my jersey signed twice,” exclaimed the elated father of one child.

With Santa Claus himself and even his sleigh on hand, these little helpers actually got to feel, if only for a few hours, like they were amidst Santa’s workshop.

Redskins in attendance:

Lorenzo Alexander, Chris Baker, Bandon Banks, Dorson Boyce, Dezmon Briscoe, Tristan Davis, Fred Davis, Jarvis Jenkins, Alfred Morris, Josh Morgan, DeJon Gomes, Chris Neild, Doug Worthington, Niles Paul, Rob Jackson

DeJon Gomes looks on as countless children gaze at their new gifts. (Credit: Kimberly Suiters/All-News 99.1 WNEW)

DeJon Gomes looks on as countless children gaze at their new gifts. (Credit: Kimberly Suiters/All-News 99.1 WNEW)

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