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Sunday, Apr. 20, 2014

Santa just adds to the Christmas holiday

Posted Monday, December 10, 2012, at 1:35 PM

You could see it in the twinkle in his eyes.

A vibrant smile was evident on the rosy-cheeks of the large guy who was decked out in a bright red suit.

Santa was loving his seasonal Yuletide visit Saturday morning to Newberry.

One by one small children and a couple of bigger children, who possessed a child's heart, paraded to the decorated Christmas scene in the Bloomfield State Bank branch.

Santa visited this tiny Greene County community for his annual time to pass out treats and pose for a few memorable photos.

He smiled and greeted the gathering with a familiar "Ho Ho Ho."

Most of the children smiled, a few were a bit apprehensive and one small toddler wrinkled his face as tears flowed down his cheeks as I snapped their photos - capturing the image of this year's Christmas visit.

Santa inquired if youngsters had been naughty or nice.

Santa talked about how much some had grown since last year's visit, asked how they were doing in school, wondered if they might be doing a better job of getting along with their brothers or sisters and handling the job of picking up their toys and clothes.

He asked some of the older youngsters if they were being good role models for their younger siblings by being obedient and handling their household chores better.

To several, Santa mentioned he noticed a few cookies missing from the plate of goodies they left out for him last year. He said he enjoys the treats during his long and busy Christmas Eve stops at their homes to drop off the gifts they request.

Santa wondered what happened to those cookies.

A couple of the youngsters quickly replied that their parents probably had eaten them.

This Santa scene was repeated later in the day when Jolly Old Saint Nick traveled a few miles away to Bloomfield and Linton to greet other groups of wide-eyed children who had lists of things they'd like to see delivered under their Christmas trees on the morning of Dec. 25.

After a busy day of greeting children, Santa departed back to the North Pole to direct the work of his elves and helpers as they fill the fresh orders for iPads, Legos, American Girl Dolls, video games and many, many other toys and gadgets that are on this year's lists.

Santa Claus has been an ageless tradition in communities large and small across the nation and around the globe.

It's a refreshing change of pace from our own busy rat-races of life.

It's a time to watch and see the joy that these Santa visits create in the hearts of children and their proud parents.

Seeing the eyes of the children light up when Santa smiles ignited a special feeling and erased any doubt some might have about the value of this age-old tradition associated with the Christmas holiday.

Santa has been on the minds of youngsters for decades.

In 1887, an inquisitive young girl named Virginia O'Hanlon penned a letter to the editor of the New York Sun newspaper and posed the question in a short 41-word letter that stated:

Dear Editor-

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O'Hanlon

The editor, Francis P. Church, followed by publishing and editorial that stated in part,

"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus!

... Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood."

The editorial titled "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus" has been reprinted over the years as reminder that Santa Claus is all part of the joy associated with the Christmas season for those young and old.

While the celebration of the birth of Christ, our Lord and Savior, in the small town of Bethlehem is the real reason for the Christmas season, Santa Claus has a place special in this wonderful holiday.

The Christmas season is about giving, love, faith, family, fellowship and creating memories.

Santa Claus is about all of that.

Nick is assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at schneider.nick@gmail.com. Follow Nick on Twitter @GCDWSchneider .

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