Little girl sees a man with white beard while shopping and mistakes him for Santa Claus

The little girl mistook the white-bearded man for Santa and it melted our hearts.


Who knew that an ordinary visit to the local Walmart could turn into one of the best Christmas stories the country has stumbled upon.

When sweet Sophie Jo Riley visited the store with her daddy and her sister, she never expected to meet the white-bearded man who brings so much happiness in the life of little children; Santa Claus. 

“She was just sneaking around the aisle, had her back against the toys,” her older sister Miya Lupashunski told WSAZ News. “We were behind her, and she’d put her finger up to her lips and go ‘Shh! It’s Santa!’”

The man that resembled Santa so much, Roger Larck, didn’t want to ruin the girl’s excitement so he decided to play along.

“Santa?” she asked as she headed towards him. “I’ve been called worse,” he replied.

When he put the red sweater on that day, Larck had no idea he will be mistaken for the ‘big guy’ but he was glad he did because it didn’t only made Sophie’s day, but his too. 

Although this incredible and serendipitous encounter took place some 4 years ago, it never ceases to put a smile on our face whenever Christmas is around the corner. 

Still a bit shocked from meeting Santa, Sophie nervously plays with her ponytail before she goes on and brags with her nails, to what ‘Santa’ exclaims, “Wow, that’s very pretty.” 

Sophie’s sister than reminds her to tell ‘Santa’ what she wants for Christmas and without hesitating even a bit, Sophie hands him in her New Year’s wish list.

And yes, she mentions how she would leave some cookies for him when he comes to bring her the present, but tells him to have only one as the rest are for the reindeer. 

That Christmas is Sophie’s favorite time of the year speaks the fact that she knows so much about Santa, his elves, and his reindeer. 

Larck was overjoyed he made Sophie happy that day and said how he loved to oblige and play the ‘big guy’ for a couple of minutes. 

“I’m tickled I’ve been a part of something that other people have enjoyed,” he said. “It was just me having a conversation with a little girl. It melted my heart when it happened.”

According to Sophie’s dad, Robert Reily, Larck contacted him after the encounter and told him how meeting the young girl was “the best present he has received for a long time.”

The video melted millions of hearts and Sophie became sort of celebrity in the town as she and her dad were guests on many shows where they spoke of the experience. 

In one occasion, she was invited at a talk show and there was someone special waiting for her there. You are guessing right, it was Larck who spoke to Sophie about her Christmas wishes. 

This is definitely a must see. It will remind you of the beauty of the most beautiful holiday season and of children’s innocence and honesty.