GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Seeing Santa Claus is generally a positive experience for kids. But for parents, there can be drawbacks, like seemingly endless lines and sometimes a fee to get your kid's picture taken with Santa.

That wasn't the case Thursday, Dec. 12 at Growing Smiles Pediatric Dentistry on Grand Ridge Court near the East Beltline. They opened up their offices to anyone, whether they were patients or not, to meet Santa himself.

"When you go to the mall, there's someone issuing you in, take a picture, hurry on out. It's very expensive. The lines can be really long. But here, the kids can really get to know him, sit and chat with him, tell him what they want. It's a very nice experience," said Dr. Megann McCone, the owner of Growing Smiles.

Growing Smiles Christmas event
Dental hygienist Kelly enjoys a sweet moment with her brother Ryan and his son Theo.
13 ON YOUR SIDE/Matt Gard

The event also included milk and cookies, and a raffle. 

"This way we can also see our patients outside of business hours," said dental hygienist and integrations coordinator Emily Favour.

"They can kind of see our fun side, and then, of course, introduce people who haven't ever met us to our practice and what we do here."

This is the first time Growing Smiles has hosted this event, but they say it won't be the last. And as an added bonus, they're moving to a newer and larger location in January.

"So next year, it'll be a little bit bigger and a little more exciting maybe because we have more room to offer more crafts and stuff," Favour said.

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