Each year for the past four years, my son and my family have enjoyed our annual visit with Santa Claus at my son’s school, St. John Neumann, in the Gwinnett County City of Lilburn, Georgia near Atlanta. St. John Neumann is a regional Roman Catholic school, educating children in kingergarten through eighth grade. And, every year, the Santa Claus Breakfast is a big, “no-miss” event!
For the holiday season, the school is decorated for Christmas with festive trees, pictures, ribbons, bows, and ornaments; and Santa Claus and his eighth grade student “elves” speak with the children about Christmas and what they would like to receive for Christmas.
A local diner, “Dicky Doo’s,” caters a lovely breakfast of eggs, pancakes, bacon, grits, and rolls, along with toppings of strawberries, chocolate morsels, and whipped cream for the pancakes, all served with orange juice and/or milk.
The students have an opportunity to purchase items from the Secret Santa “Shop” for family members and friends. These gifts are inexpensive and thoughtful presents that make the children feel good about being able to give to their loved ones and friends.
This year is the first year in which professional photographs were made available to everyone who visited with Santa Claus. A student’s grandparent who is a professional photographer offered some nice photos for sale. Students’ families could also take their own pictures.
Each year, children can also participate in “cake walks.” Children walk along a numbered-circle to the sounds of Christmas music, and must stand still on a number when the music stops. Hopefully, the number pulled out of the hat is the number on which the child is standing so that he or she can select a prize of a cake, cookies, or brownies. This year, there were many, many baked goods left since there was less generosity with issuing confectionary prizes, however it was still a memorable experience.
In past years, students also enjoyed singing Christmas songs with Mrs. Claus as she stummed her guitar, however she must have been at home today baking cookies or otherwise getting more prepared for the holidays.
Breakfast with Santa is always a wonderful experience, and one to which we look forward every year. It is an affordable and inexpensive way to spend a joyful and festive Saturday morning at school during the Christmas and holiday season. The best part is remembering and being thankful that it is because of Jesus and His sacrifices for us that we celebrate Christmas.