The experience that hooked Colleen and Mark Cormier into becoming perennial holiday elves actually occurred by mistake a few years ago.
That’s when a needy family came home unexpectedly one afternoon, surprising the Encinitas couple and their now-10-year-old daughter, Kennedy, in the midst of decorating their small apartment with a tree, lights, household items and dozens of wrapped presents.
“We were sitting in our car when the mom and her little boy came home early and he started running up and down the sidewalk shouting ‘Santa came! Santa came!’ It was a really special experience,” Mark Cormier said.
On Tuesday, the Cormiers were among the nearly 300 “elves” taking...