Santa Claus must love Santa Clara. He came to town again on Dec. 13 to make the weekend merry and bright for 110 Santa Clara children and their families enjoying a breakfast of pancakes and sausage as they awaited his arrival at the Senior Center.
In he strode at 9:30 a.m., carrying a sack of toys on his back and accompanied by two elves. He waved and stopped to greet a few of the children at the breakfast tables before taking his seat on the stage at the far end of the room, where he spoke in his jovial Santa voice with each child in turn. Those daring enough sat on his lap for a photo; others were held by a parent or older sibling who sat on Santa’s knee.
It was 15-year-old Amanda’s 14th breakfast with Santa. Her six-year-old brother, Charlie, accompanied her.
“It kind of starts my holiday season. It’s like a tradition, a really fun thing to do for the holidays,” says Amanda.
“It’s a really nice event. We have all the pictures,” says Amanda’s mom, Peggie Mueller.
It was the first Santa breakfast for five-year-old David.
“I like Santa because he gives toys,” says David, who wants a monster truck and a DVD with “funny stuff” like movies. “I’m a good boy. I clean up my room.”
“Sometimes,” adds David’s mom, Lilit Ghazaryan.
Six-year-old Sam, who wants a baseball glove for Christmas, explains that “at night, Santa sneaks into our house and gives us presents when we’re sound asleep. Only we’re not really sound asleep because I hear reindeer on the roof.”
Ben, Sam’s 10-year-old brother, asked Santa for a laptop, but no promises were made. However, he is hopeful, saying that Santa “is funny and good and nice.”
Breakfast with Santa, sponsored and staffed by the Department of Parks and Recreation, is an established Santa Clara holiday tradition. Admission tickets cover breakfast, a photo with Santa, and presents-this year a candy cane, small stuffed toy snowman, and kazoo. Also, the children get their “passports” stamped for making arts and crafts such as decorated sugar cookies and Santa door hangers.
In an annual tradition of community service, the Santa Clara High School Athletic Boosters prepared the pancake breakfast. The Wilcox High School Cheer Team helped set up for breakfast, served drinks, and assisted with crafts.
“I always thought Santa was nice because he gave presents to kids without asking for anything back,” says volunteer Janet, a Wilcox sophomore.