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Published December 21 2010

Secret Santa: Mystery woman leaves gift cards, greetings on doors

Christmas came early for some residents on one downtown Fargo block, and it arrived in a white SUV.

Someone taped gift cards and a Christmas message to the front doors of at least two homes between 10th and 11th streets and NP and First avenues Sunday evening.

Homeowners Sarah and Mike Witt know it wasn’t Santa Claus because the security cameras on their garage captured an unidentified woman doing the good deed.

“It was really a sweet gesture,” Sarah Witt said.

The Witts received a $25 gift card to Cash Wise Foods. They had yet to hear from their neighbors if they got the same gift, but from camera footage, it appeared the woman stopped at each of the four homes on 11th Street, Witt said. She sent a text message to a neighbor, who had a card taped on his door, but his wife was in the hospital, and he hadn’t been home yet, she said.

Witt said the woman and her driver in the SUV must have dropped by between 8 and 10 p.m. when Witt was asleep and her husband was still at his second job.

The block, perhaps best known for The Nestor bar, also has four houses around the corner on First Avenue, as well as several businesses. A resident at one of those homes said they didn’t receive a card.

Witt said the woman and the SUV went off-camera for a little while but then came back into view and could be seen turning onto First Avenue.

“We have no idea who it is, never seen her before,” Witt said.

A handwritten card accompanying the gift card read: “’Tis the season to receive a random act of kindness” and “Merry Christmas.” The Humane Society card had three cats on the front, Witt said.

Witt, who works in phone sales and has two children with her husband, said she doesn’t know why their block was chosen. It’s the first time anything like that has happened in the neighborhood, she said.

“So many people need to just remember that there’s people out there doing good who don’t want anything in return,” she said.

Considering how Witt planned to use the gift card, the mystery woman’s Christmas spirit seems to have spread.

“I thought maybe I’d make something for our neighbor that’s been in the hospital,” Witt said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528