Ellie Mae Oberst, 4, was on her way to visit Santa when she unexpectedly ran into him.
He walked right into the Cracker Barrel in Couer D’Alene, Idaho she was dining at with her grandparents and dad on Dec. 10.
“We had just been telling Ellie Mae that some helper elves looks a lot like Santa, but that when she sees the real Santa, she’ll know,” her grandmother, Susan Oberst of Spokane, Washington, told “Good Morning America.”
And know she did.
“She was waving at him saying, ‘hi Santa, hi Santa,'” Oberst said.
The man walked over to the table and pulled a photo of a reindeer out of his pocket.
Oberst said “She asked, ‘we’re coming to see you what are you doing here?”‘
“‘I lost my reindeer, can you help me find him?” Santa asked Ellie Mae. She told him she would, her grandma said.
“Santa told her to eat all her vegetables and each time she took a bite she looked over at his table and gave him a thumbs up,” Oberst said.
Once the family finished dining, Ellie Mae wanted to talk to Santa one more time. She promised to help him find his reindeer.
Ellie Mae is the kind of kid, her grandma said, who loves to help other people out. Her uncle works at a nursing home and “she was worried about the grandmas who were alone.
“She had $50 saved and she used it to buy 50 presents at the dollar store, one for each resident.”
It’s a personality trait that’s helping her grandfather through a tough time.
Her “Papa,” Oberst said, is battling cancer and complications.
“They are besties and have coffee dates at least twice a week,” her grandma said. “I know it’s because of her that he keeps battling.”