Where's Santa Claus?
Here he is!
(You can't tell, but he is smiling underneath the beard.)
Wait a minute...here he is again!
Bella March (upper left) and siblings Violet (lower left) and Norman, sitting with Santa. Photo courtesy of Kelly March.
You'll always catch fleeting glimpses of the Man in the Red Suit at Christmastime. Our own Howard Owens spotted him on Main Street last week. You're likely to catch him at the mall at least once, and you might even see him on the front lawns of festively decorated houses (although for some reason he never seems to feel like talking in those instances).
If you live in Batavia, you could have found him this weekend where his two favorite things were present: families and food.
Santa's weekend in Batavia kicked off with the "Supper with Santa" at St. Joseph's School, an annual event sponsored and funded by St. Joe's home school association, SOS (Supporters of St. Joseph's) and catered by Paulie's Pizzeria. On Saturday morning he was at John Kennedy Elementary School's "Pancake Breakfast with Santa," which was put on by the John Kennedy Parent Group (JKPG).
Good Saint Nick had no shortage of admirers at either event. Children waited in long lines to tell him their Christmas wishes. Most people would probably become overwhelmed trying to keep track of each child's Christmas list, but it was no problem for Santa. His ability to remember non-written Christmas lists comes from his talent for seeing and appreciating each child's unique personality.
"All it takes," Santa said, "is to see their faces and hear their voices."
Santa at St. Joe's with, left to right, Nicky Ventola and Moira and Clara Werner. Photo courtesy of Nora O'Neill.
The kids got an up-close look at Santa's personality, too.
"He's very fun," St. Joe's first-grader Amanda Bergman said. "Fun to be with."
Knowing such an important visitor was coming, parents and staff of both schools spent a lot of time in preparation.
"We always plan a year in advance," said Nora O'Neill, marketing director for St. Joe's. "Soon after the event is over, we start planning for the next year."
...Kind of like Santa himself, who prepares for Christmas Eve a year ahead!
JKPG President Shari Ange credits parent Sherri Wahr with coming up with the idea for the Pancake Breakfast at the group's last meeting three months ago.
"We used to have a breakfast at Applebee's for Easter," Ange said. "Sherri thought it would be great to have a breakfast with Santa. Hopefully we can make this an annual thing."