BEALE AIR FORCE BASE (CBS13) – Christmas came early for families of Beale Air Force Base as Santa arrived with gifts for thousands of children, but there was one thing missing – his reindeer.

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There was no Rudolph, no Dancer, or Prancer. It was just Saint Nick and a U2 aircraft.

The annual children’s holiday party welcomed Santa Claus, who arrived prepared with thousands of Christmas gifts.

“I got a little bee,” said one little boy.

For over a decade, Beale Air Force Base has hosted Santa for the party with music, food and holiday cheer.

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“Nothing can replace rolling into all these children,” said Santa.

“It’s our opportunity to give back to the kids,” event coordinator Shane Griego.

Toys for the Troops’ Kids is an organization that collects toys for military children; and it continues to sponsor the event every year, and always enjoys helping Santa out.

“One of the things that has been a joy is we raise the toys, but we never get to see their faces. So it is a joy to see their happy faces,” Jay Evans, Toys for the Troops’ Kids, said of the event.

For the past 15 years Santa has been dropping into the air force base, not in his sleigh but a U2 aircraft. It’s a sight just as exciting, as seeing old Saint Nick himself.

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“This is a great thing to be able to support and recognize the families of those deployed in the past,” said Col. Kevin Cavanagh.