MINSTER — The F.J. Stallo Memorial Library in Minster was hopping with holiday fun and cheer Saturday morning during its Breakfast With Santa program.
The event, made possible with the help of Friends of the Library, invited children ages 4 through first grade to play holiday games, make Christmas crafts, eat breakfast and most importantly, meet the big man himself.
Branch Supervisor Becky Prenger, who organized the event and has been with the library for 30 years, said this is the first year in some time the library has held Breakfast With Santa.
“My favorite part of my job is doing stuff like this,” Prenger said, while playing a game of ‘throw the jingle bell at the reindeer bucket’ with a group of first grade girls. “I eat, breathe and sleep library.”
Other activities included a holiday frisbee toss, coloring Christmas trees, making Santa’s face with paper plates and cotton balls, reading Christmas stories, and guessing the hidden contents of several Christmas stockings.
Ava Stueve, 4, whose group had recently visited Santa, said she did not ask for any presents.
“I didn’t say anything to Santa,” she said. “We just took a picture.”
Ashley Meyer, 7, whose group had yet to visit Santa, said she planned on asking him for McKenna, an American Girl doll. Alayna Prenger said she wanted one as well.
Inside the room where Santa sat in his big armchair, next to a lit and decorated tree, a group of boys sat at tables avidly coloring their own Christmas trees, waiting patiently for their turn to see him. Santa’s helper called one of them, Carter Dirksen, 5, up to sit on Santa’s lap. Dirksen beamed as he craned his neck up to see Santa’s face.
“What’s your name?” Santa asked.
“Carter,” Dirksen said.
“What do you want for Christmas, Carter?” Santa asked.
“An iPod,” Dirksen said.
“An iPod?! I don’t even have an iPod,” Santa said.
Dirksen smiled, and went back over to color the rest of his Christmas tree, unabashed.
Two rooms over, it was breakfast time for Lauren Heitkamp, 5, and the other little girls in her group, who were around a table nibbling away at their donut holes and Fruit Loops. When asked what she wanted for Christmas — as her group had not visited Santa yet — she said “a dream light — something that when you’re scared of the dark it lights the sky.”
“I want Barbies,” Ellie Greishop, 5, said. “A mermaid — that can go in the water.”
The girls had some intricate theories as to how Santa gets around to all the children of the world in a single night.
“With a reindeer and a sleigh,” Jenna Belcher, 5, said.
When asked how said reindeer fly, she responded, “with power.”
Jenna also had a theory on how Santa knows what each boy and girl want for Christmas.
“He sees everyone,” she said.
The girls agreed that he uses the elves to spy.