The 9-year-old girl carefully applied glitter glue to the white Christmas stocking — the one she was decorating for her 10-year-old brother.
“I like video games,” Israel Vazquez said when asked why he had put his sister to work.
“I like art,” Litzy Vazquez said.
Well, that worked out just fine.
“He’s lazy,” she quickly added.
The siblings, along with brother Marco, 12, and their mother, Xochitl Nieto, and grandmother, Antonia Bellalobos, joined 18 other families Saturday morning for crafts, breakfast, a visit with Santa and gifts courtesy of the Fullerton PD’s Adopt a Family program.
The families were selected by the Fullerton School District to participate in the PD’s annual holiday program, which is designed to make Christmas special for families who are not in a position to freely spend on gifts and holiday meals.
Litzy, Israel and Marco live with their mother, grandparents and an uncle in an apartment near the Fullerton PD — seven people sharing a relatively small space.
Nieto, 40, and her brother make money playing mariachi music in local venues. Her children attend Richman Elementary School and participate in the Fullerton PD’s CalGRIP program, which aims to keep youth on the right track.
“It’s cool,” Israel says of the GRIP program.
Nieto said the Adopt a Family program has made this Christmas extra special. She said she and her children had never mingled with cops before and never had visited the PD headquarters until Saturday.
“I’ve never seen a police officer so close,” Litzy, a fourth-grader, said when asked what she thought of the police officers she met Saturday morning.
The morning started with breakfast burritos from Don Carlos Mexican Restaurant, photos with Santa, who gave each child a stuffed animal, then crafts. The kids decorated stockings and assembled Gingerbread House-style homes out of foam pieces.
Before leaving, they received gifts from officers based on a wish list they previously had filled out at school. Cadets delivered gifts to families who left without knowing they were going to receive presents.
Sgt. Kathryn Hamel said the Adopt a Family program is popular program with officers.
“It allows them to be able give back in additional ways to the community that they serve,” Hamel said. “Everyone who attended the Breakfast with Santa left with a smile on their faces — officers, children and Santa alike.”