STOCKTON - The rain soaked the ground in the Stockton Memorial Park where Santa Claus was due to arrive on Sunday at 1 p.m.
While Santa is used to all kinds of weather when he makes his Christmas Eve deliveries, he decided to move the event to the Stockton Firehall so that the children could stay dry. His helpers, members of the Stockton Fire Department, made sure the hall was festive. They, along with Vicki Bardo of S.C.O.R.E. (Stockton Citizens Organization for Renewal and Expansion), baked the cookies that were served with hot chocolate.
Traditional cutouts in the shape of stars were available. Many other beautiful treats were arranged in plates on the table, including some appealing reindeer concoctions.
OBSERVER Photos by Diane R. Chodan
Danny Calintine of Fredonia whispers his Christmas wish into Santa’s ear. Santa arrived in Stockton on Sunday afternoon for a party at the Stockton Firehall.
Left to right: Brandi Meder and her big sister, Brittany Woodard. Brandi selects a cutout cookie in the shape of a star under the watchful eye of her sister. Members of the Stockton Fire Department provided cookies and cocoa for the annual Christmas party.
Pretzels represented reindeer antlers.
Stockton councilman Bryan Meder, choosing his own treat, said, "These are really clever. They must have taken a lot of time to do."
Each child had an opportunity to talk to Santa who had settled into a comfortable couch. Many relatives snapped pictures of the children as each told Santa what he or she wanted for Christmas. Danny Calintine of Fredonia whispered into Santa's ear. Brandi Meder of Stockton sat on Santa's lap with a broad smile while her older sister took a picture. Her sister said, "I told her she had to smile for me."
Each child received a candy bar and a candy cane tied together with ribbon after talking to Santa.
Some families, like a group of Meders (Sarah, D.J., Don and Payton) used the opportunity to take a Christmas picture. No one was revealing the identity of Santa. According to Sheila Meder of the Fire Department, "This is a mystery Santa." Or maybe the real one.