The holiday season got an early start Monday, as hundreds of Fort Hood children received early Christmas presents from a Christmas in August event, hosted by Fort Hood’s Santa’s Workshop.

“It is a way to get our name out into the community and let people know we’re doing things different this year,” Chella Stokoe, president of Fort Hood’s Santa’s Workshop, said.

The workshop board decided to make the process as smooth as possible, by transitioning to an online application process. In previous years, the applications were submitted to the units, who then submitted them to the workshop. The families will also be able to select their own shop times this year, to make it more convenient for them.

Santa’s Workshop’s Christmas in August event welcomed hundreds of Fort Hood families through their doors, for children to choose one toy from the workshop’s large selection. After shopping, children had the opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what they want for Christmas.

“I like the idea that they have such a nice family opportunity,” Amber Griffith spouse of Cpl. Bradley Griffith, 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, said. “I think he had more fun seeing the other kids than choosing a present.”

Santa’s Workshop was created by 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command in 1985. Understanding the need to reach more families, the Fort Hood Spouses’ Club expanded it into an installation-level organization in 1998, but the 13th ESC and the 13th Corps Support Command Association remain heavily involved. The 501(c)(3) non-profit organization helps thousands of children have a memorable Christmas.

Stokoe said applications will go live Sept. 1. Anyone with questions can ask via Faceook at https://www.facebook.com/FortHoodSantasWorkshop.

Spc. Isaac Perez, 62nd Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 11th Corps Signal Brigade, who brought his children to the event, said his son was very excited to choose his own toy, while he was happy it was so well-planned and organized.