Three holiday events brought their community together to kick off the holidays with some food, fun and festivities.West Brandywine Township held their annual Saturday with Santa where each child made holiday decorations. Each of 60 children who participated in Saturday's event decorated a pine cone in a flower pot. Each child glued beads and ribbon to the give the pine cone the effect of a decorated Christmas tree. Then each participant moved to the next table where they had a choice of gluing foam pieces together to make either a Santa or a snowman tree ornament. After the children completed that task, they ambled onto a third table where they could decorate with holiday sprinkles and then eat their newly-decorated cupcake.
The highlight of the morning was each child received the chance to give Santa his or her wanted Christmas list while sitting on his lap. Santa listened intently to each child's request. Santa gustily said, "Ho, Ho, Ho!" periodically as he delighted in one of the children's requests. After each child told Santa what they wanted, they received both a candy cane and a gift especially chosen for them by one of Santa's trusty elves.
Caln Township had their annual children's Christmas Party at the Thorndale Fire Company on Saturday afternoon. Children, ages 1 to 9, made foam-pieced snowman and reindeer Christmas tree ornaments. Magician Kevin Joyce entertained the youngsters. Joyce asked the children to participate in the magic show by asking one young man to prove that 3 ropes that were 3 different lengths were strong enough not to be stretched. Joyce, with the slip of his hand, created one long rope out of the 3 separate pieces.
Joyce ended his show to the delight of the children by changing a large chocolate kiss into smaller ones and throwing them into the audience. As each youngster scrambled to pick up kisses, many ran to their parent to stash their handful of loot.
With that, the sounds of bells began in the back of the room and a man in a red suit entered. The children squealed in delight as Santa joined the festivities. They all lined up to sit on his lap. A few were hesitant to see the bearded gentlemen, but some could be coaxed closer with the glimpse of a candy cane. However, a few wanted no part of that strange sight dressed in red and white. Santa asked the children if they were all good children. All acknowledged they were.
On Sunday's late afternoon with freezing temperatures, Caln Township held their annual tree lighting ceremony. Board of Commissioners President Jill Hammond welcomed everyone to the event. Pastor Thomas Davis Shappell from Thorndale United Methodist Church said the initial prayer before the tree lighting reminding everyone of the focus of the season. Outgoing District Justice Jim Charley was the honorary designated person to light the tree. Charley asked everyone to count backwards from 10 to one. He then flipped the switch to officially light the township Christmas tree. The Thorndale Methodist Church Choir sang religious and secular songs of the season.
With the ringing of bells, Santa made a return trip in 2 days to Caln Township. Santa Claus arrived in a golf cart with golf putter in hand. He and his driver in the golf cart drove around the helicopter landing pad and moved up the hill towards the township building. Santa urged everyone to come inside for hot chocolate as the caroler completed their last song, "Here Comes Santa Claus". Once inside, Santa greeted the children over a cup of hot chocolate and cookies. Then, he proceeded to sit in his chair. The children lined up to sit on his lap and give him their wish list.
Six-year old Caln resident, Sofie Damnjanovic asked Santa for "a Little Pet shop" miniature doll figures. While her 10-year old sister, Katrine asked for a Nintendo DS game. It seems electronic games rule the wish lists as many ask for the WII system and games as Santa took note.
Santa teased many of the adults and asked them if they wanted to have Santa's magic putter. With a smile, Santa said, "It is guaranteed to give holes in one." He looked around and received no takers. Before he left for his final trip to the North Pole, Santa urged all the children to be especially good for their parents for the next few weeks.
Each township in their own way rang in this special season with fun and good times for all.