HARKER HEIGHTS — The weather on Saturday was a balmy 70 degrees but that didn’t dampen the wintry Christmas spirit of folks at Operation Phantom Support’s Touch of Christmas Bazaar in Harker Heights. Santa read books to children while grown-ups shopped or watched football in the Moose Lodge.

The event continues on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“This wonderful group of people makes for a wonderful day,” said Linda Valentine, operations manager for Operation Phantom Support, a nonprofit that helps active-duty troops and veterans. She was having fun re-connecting with vendors from last year, the first year for the event.

“We have a lot of return vendors because they’re here for the cause,” Valentine said. “The money we raise goes right back into our programs.”

Operation Phantom Support has numerous programs to assist soldiers and veterans in the Fort Hood area.

Valentine said many vendors are talented artisans.

One vendor, Sue-Jung Smith of KSJ Designs, was selling her jewelry.

“It’s been steady,” she said. “It’s great weather for people to get out of the house.”

One mom was watching her two young sons at the petting zoo. Their candy suckers were a gift from Santa.

“We’re enjoying getting into the Christmas spirit,” said Nicole Gadsby.

“They really wanted to meet Santa,” she said. “They hopped right on his lap and told him what they wanted.”

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