APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Santa Claus made his first appearance at the Fox River Mall on Thursday, helping children and families bring in the holiday spirit.

Local 5 News was there for his first photo session, where he also took wish lists full of toys and other presents in person.

It’s not just the white beard and red hat that makes Santa recognizable as Mr. Claus is also a special education teacher in the Fox Valley and told Local 5 News his expertise with concentration and behavior issues helps him connect with every child he meets and he knows it’s not it’s not even Thanksgiving, but believes we all need a little Christmas early.

“People are thinking about other people rather than themselves,” said Santa Claus. “They’re nice and they’re kind. They’re generous and it’s something I love to see. If I can come down a little early and get this ball rolling, I’d be very happy.”

You can reserve a time with Santa online at the Fox River Mall’s website, or just pop by near Macy’s.