Christmas is a special time of year filled with traditions that bring cheer to the season and smiles to the faces of many.

By Alicia Pavona

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The memories made in Ida, Michigan at the Annual Festival and Parade of Lights exemplify the spirit of the holidays and so much more. And we know Santa has a lot to do with it.

Mike Hudson, or “Santa” as he’s known in the community and as his nickname on the road, has been driving for Meijer for 11 years. When he’s not delivering product to Meijer stores this season, he’ll be enjoying the holidays with his family—and representing Meijer at the Ida Festival of Lights is a big part of that.

“We love participating in the Ida Christmas Parade because it brings joy and laughter to every family and child we see. When we walk around prior to the parade, the joy and happiness is felt no matter where you are during the most magical season of all.”

Mike Hudson, or “Santa” as he’s known in the community

Mike Hudson, or “Santa” as he’s known in the community

While many of us are donning lights on our trees or perimeter of the house, Mike’s busy making sure his 18-wheel sleigh is ready for the parade as it’s decorated with a mile of lights. “They love it when they see that big Meijer truck coming down the road. They especially love it when I play Jingle Bells on the air horn.”

Christmas in Ida is known for its hospitality, entertainment and most of all its Parade of Lights. “I cannot express the feelings in words on the experience that this event brings to so many people,” Hudson says. “It just fills our hearts with love and joy to see little children smile and are happy no matter what is happening in the world around us. You can actually see joy and happiness on their faces.” 

Meijer’s a proud sponsor of Christmas in Ida that takes place Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 this year.

It is an honor and a blessing to work for a company that really gives back to the community and sponsors events like this one,
— 'Santa' Mike Hudson

Hudson adds. “It also allows my family and I to bring joy and happiness to families to start off the holiday season.”

While we all look forward to a visit from Santa in our home each year, sometimes it’s the joy we bring to others that means the most. “Sometimes we wish it was all year around.  It brings a tear to my eye to see a little boy or girl look up at me and honestly thinks I am the real Santa,” says Hudson.

For more information about Christmas in Ida, click here. #meijergives



Mike Hudson
Ida Christmas Parade

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