The festive season officially began last week when Santa arrived at Karratha City Shopping Centre, ready to meet children and hear their Christmas wishes.

Santa and Fairy Skye the Christmas elf will be around for photos over the next couple of weeks, with parents able to take their own photos for the first time.

Centre manager Melanie Garbin said not having a photographer offered more flexibility.

“A lot of people like to take photos on their phones; this way they can take shots individually and as a family, with parents or without,” she said.

“Having Santa at the centre is a service we provide which makes Christmas real for the kids.

“They get to talk to someone about what they want and what their wish is for this and next year.”

Photos with Santa will be available on Thursdays from 4-6pm and Saturdays from 11am-1pm until December 15.

Shoppers are also encouraged to get involved with the other activities at the centre including Post N Pak, the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal and the Salvation Army’s food drive.