Saturday, December 1, 2007

Santa Comes to Black Forest

Tonight we had one of my favorite experiences in a while.

*Truth in advertising statement: We tried to do too many things today. This led to cranky kids, rather burnt out parents, late dinner, and a few things I wish I could do over. It was not a perfect day, far from it. However, I don't feel like talking about that. And this is my blog. And you probably don't want to hear about that anyway. So I'm going to tell you this cute little story which was the best part of the day. Thank you.

About two minutes from where we live, is the center of the old "town." It has a fire station, a one room schoolhouse, a general store, a couple other small store buildings, a feed store, a church, and a community center. Most of these are actual log buildings, close to 100 years old. The community center actually hosts an "acoustic society" every other Friday night. People bring their banjos and things of that nature and they do a sing-along from what I can tell. We totally need to go sometime.

On the sign for the community center this week, it said, "Santa arrives, Dec. 1, 7pm." Well, a quaint little town gathering with Santa was right up my alley. We would have forgotten to go, except that we drove by there right at 6:50, heading to get our tree. We decided to stop.

A group of probably 150-200 people of all ages - babies to 90 year olds, waited in the center of town to light the Christmas tree. A choir of probably 10 people, complete with the warbly soprano, and the very low bass led us in Christmas carols. Their director was a fireball of a lady with white hair who was probably 75. The older couple who has the "keys to the forest" got to plug in the lights on the tree, and everyone "oohed and ahhed." Then, lights flashing, came the fire engine. Santa and Mrs. Claus were riding in the top, waving to everyone. They pulled into the community center and all the kids lined up to see them.

We reached the front of the line and Hannah buried her head in my shoulder when Santa talked to her. Mrs. Claus said, "Sometimes they'll come to me?" And Hannah gladly sat on her lap, and told her what she wanted for Christmas. A baby, she said. This is news to me. The whole time, the choir continued to sing carols. A guy with a banjo stood in the back and played occasionally. The director played a few chords at a time on the old upright piano, alternating with waving her arms to keep tempo. There were hot drinks and cookies, and the firefighters and paramedics hung around in the back, enjoying the festivities.

It was just the cutest thing. Like something from a movie. I could almost imagine being there when they did that long ago, for the children...who still come...70 years later.

So, Nick and I have decided that when we're 75 or 80 years old, he's going to grow a beard and we'll go around as Santa and Mrs. Claus. He likes to remind me that he is, after all, St. Nick. Oh, brother.


  1. I love days like that--they are the moments you wish for to form happy memories for your children.

  2. I know it. And they sure seem hard to come by!

  3. I love doing things like that! It sounds like it was so much fun..wish I could have been there. You do a great job with your posts, recreating the scene. I can almost imagine my family and I there.