The morning began with a time to write letters to Santa and then a
chance to decorate some extra-special cookies.
Lincoln Area YMCA staff members Jan Schacht and Krista Miller,
along with Miller's daughter Tori, came in to help the children with
their letter writing and cookie decorating.
The home-baked cookies, which were provided by Schacht, were in
the shapes of sleighs, Christmas trees and stockings. The children
were given bowls of icing in colors of green, blue, and pink, along
with sprinkles to put on top.
When the cookies were all decorated, the kids and their parents
took a walk across the street to the courthouse lawn and the Santa
house that is new this year to the downtown Christmas celebrating.
With the air being a bit cool, children were allowed to go into
Santa's house to await his arrival, while parents stood outside
keeping an eye out for the jolly elf.
When Santa arrived, he was really happy to see so many children
had come to visit with him, and he visited with them all one at a
Later the group returned to the Main Street Lincoln offices,
where Santa opened his mailbox and read all the letters that had
been left for him there.
Santa said he is noticing a return of the Barbie doll on many
little girls' lists this year. Our local children were no exception,
as many requested the popular doll, along with some popular Barbie
accessories such as playhouses, cars and Barbie campers.
The girls outnumbered the boys, but the boys there had their
usual requests -- trucks, tanks and other "boy-specific" toys and
Two of the children were meeting Santa for the very first time.
Little Sophia smiled happily as she waited and watched for Santa to
make his way around to her.
Little Evan wasn't quite as anxious to meet the jolly elf, but
Santa has his ways. Drawing attention to the jingle bells he wears
around his wrists, Santa soon coaxed a small smile out of
Evan. Santa also predicted that next year, Evan would be happy to
see him, as he said, "eventually I win them all over."
After Santa read each of children's letters and spoke to them
one-on-one about their lists, he moved on to read them a couple of
While the kids sat around the table eating cookies from the Owl's
Roost and drinking hot chocolate, Santa read "The Night Before
Christmas," then moved on to a book entitled "My Little Princess."
The party wrapped up around noon, and as children and parents
headed out, some with intentions of doing some downtown shopping,
Wanda Lee Rohlfs, executive director of Main Street Lincoln, said
she was happy with this year's turnout.
"We had about twice as many as last year," she said, "and it was
good to see parents participate. It made this a real family event."
Rohlfs said that while there were more children than last year,
there is still plenty of room for the Saturday with Santa event to
grow, and she hopes that next year's turnout will be even larger.
[to top of second column]
She also expressed a great amount of appreciation to Schacht and
the Millers, from the Y, and said she hopes their participation will
also become a permanent part of the Saturday with Santa.
After Santa left, the next activity for Saturday included a visit
to National Rent to Own, where the first three winners of what will
be weekly drawings throughout the holiday season were drawn.
Philip Cunningham won Main Street Money; Vickie Knapp received a
gift certificate good for National Rent to Own; and Patty Cunningham
won two tickets to the Kiwanis Club Italian Night dinner on Nov. 18.
On Sunday, the holiday open house weekend wrapped up at Hallie's
with an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner fundraiser, with proceeds
to go to Main Street Lincoln.
While guests enjoyed heaping plates of spaghetti with meat sauce
and bread, Main Street volunteers assisted with food service,
refilling drinks, visiting with patrons and washing up dishes.
A few guests also enjoyed some impromptu entertainment as Roger
Matson and Rohlfs offered their musical styling of the theme song of
the day, "Holly Jolly Christmas."
At the end of the day, there was a second weekend drawing. Kay
Wilmert won Main Street Money, which can be used at any
participating store, and Debbie Quick won a gift certificate from
Weekly drawings will continue through Dec. 24. Next week the
spotlighted businesses will be Serendipity Stitches and Framing and
Gehlbach Law Offices. The weekly drawing will be at 1 p.m. Saturday
And, kids should mark their calendars for another special weekend
with Santa. Santa will participate in the annual Christmas parade on
the Friday evening after Thanksgiving. He will also be in town
most of the day on that Saturday and has some special plans for that
weekend that he'll share with everyone soon.
[By NILA SMITH]