MONTREAL -- The Christmas spirit was alive and well at the Welcome Hall Mission Saturday where volunteers, including some high-profile politicians, handed out 7,000 presents to kids in need.

The Welcome Hall made picking the gift part of the festivities, where 2,260 children from underprivileged families chose the unwrapped gifts, so they could get what they want.

The children are from the Welcome Hall's client list and are recipients of the mission's other services including a food bank.

Canadian Justice Minister David Lametti, Verdun City Councillor Sterling Downey and a Santa Claus that bore a striking resemblance to Montreal executive committee chairman Benoit Dorais made appearances as did several retired Habs including Lucien Deblois, Normand Dupont and Gaston Gingras.