Gritty surprises South Philly couple with huge Christmas wreath to replace stolen decoration


Gritty may have saved Christmas for a South Philadelphia couple who had their Christmas wreath ripped off earlier this month.

Disguised as Santa Claus, Gritty surprised Dan Jackson and Tim Popp with a huge Flyer-themed Christmas wreath last Wednesday at the couple’s home. Jackson had created the original crown to look like Gritty.

The new 6-foot crown is orange and black and features the mascot’s googly eyes and tongue.

Gritty originally planned to present the crown to Jackson and Popp during the Flyers-Capitals game last Tuesday, according to ESPN. However, the game was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, and the couple invited Gritty to visit their home instead.

When Jackson and Popp opened the door on Wednesday, they were greeted by Gritty wearing a Santa hat over her hockey helmet and pulling Santa’s white beard over his orange fur.

After exchanging hugs and greetings, the couple gifted Gritty with the homemade mascot ornament that inspired their original wreath, along with a card and flowers. Gritty gave them an autographed photo of himself.

When Gritty arrived, the couple had expected him to deliver tickets to a future Flyers game. Instead, the mascot pulled out the huge crown that stunned Jackson and Popp.

The case of the missing Gritty Crown began earlier this month when Jackson posted in a Facebook group that someone had stolen the decoration from the couple’s front door.

The original wreath was orange with big eyes and a Santa hat. He was outside for about a week before he was slipped. The couple then made a replacement crown.

But the stolen decoration sparked a not-so-subtle threat from Gritty on Twitter.

“If you don’t return the crown, I’ll look for you, find you and bake you a cake,” the Flyers mascot wrote.

The original wreath has not been found, but the new decoration now hangs outside the couple’s home. All thanks to Gritty himself for spreading Christmas cheer this holiday season.

“Our original crown is probably gone forever, but the wonderful and strange story of our little crown Gritty will be one that will last a lifetime,” Popp said in a video posted to social media. “Happy holidays everyone. May your days be grainy and bright!”


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