Holiday cheer and spirit of giving spreads across Houston area

On Friday, Sugar Land Town Square was filled with holiday spirit as folks gathered for the 17th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting.

For many, this event is a yearly tradition. Some marked the beginning of a new one. 

Meanwhile at Heartis Senior Living Center - Clear Lake, the residents are also starting a new tradition this year. The center's Halloween candy drive and party went viral and drew thousands of trick-or-treaters. 

"Everyone was like, 'what can we do next?' So, we thought about Christmas and giving back to kids," said Rhonda Leaks, Executive Director, Heartis Senior Living Center - Clear Lake.

For Christmas, they partnered with Shriners Hospital for a toy drive. On December 14, the residents will host Pancakes with Santa complete with a picture with Santa and a hot chocolate bar. For entry, attendees must bring a new, unwrapped toy. A few days later, residents from Heartis will deliver the presents to the hospital and meet with the children.

"Nothing makes you feel better than children. Nothing. It just lifts up your heart," said Linda Wenzel, a resident. 

Those who cannot attend Pancakes with Santa are welcomed to drop off toys or have them mailed to Heartis Clear Lake.