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Santa's a big hit at Yuletide in Waynesboro

December 16, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

WAYNESBORO, PA. - Debby Hampton brought her four grandchildren to downtown Waynesboro Saturday to visit Santa Claus, listen to stories with Mrs. Claus and decorate cookies as part of Yuletide in Waynesboro.

"We just enjoy seeing Santa and Mrs. Claus," said Hampton, a lifelong resident of Waynesboro. "It's just a fun time with my grandchildren."

Santa Claus was in three downtown shops throughout the day Saturday - Eichholz Flowers in the morning and James Shoes and Castle Fabrics and Home Decor in the afternoon. Hampton and her grandchildren visited Santa Claus at Eichholz Flowers.

Hampton's grandchildren - Leah Hampton, 9, Lexi Hampton, 8, Katie Hampton, 7, and Bradee Hampton, 2 - sat on Santa's lap and told him what they wanted for Christmas and whether they had been good this year.

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Leah Hampton said she wanted Nintendo games, Lexi Hampton said she wanted a jewelry box and Katie Hampton said she wanted a butterscotch pony.

"I like jewelry," Lexi Hampton said.

Katie Hampton said she wanted a butterscotch pony because "it's really special to me."

"Santa is a good guy," Katie added.

Debby Hampton said Bradee Hampton wanted a four-wheeler.

After their turns on Santa's lap, Santa gave them gift bags with candy, a coloring book, crayons and an orange.

The coloring book and crayons were courtesy of Susquehanna Bank in Waynesboro, the candy canes in each bag were from Zo's Chocolate Co. and the rest of the items were purchased through sponsors, said Carole Malin, manager of Mainstreet Waynesboro Inc.

Mainstreet sponsors Yuletide in Waynesboro.

The next stop for the Hamptons was Zo's Chocolate Co. to decorate cookies.

This is the second year for Yuletide in Waynesboro.

"I got the idea because you can't have a Christmas celebration without Santa," Malin said.

"This is a good alternative to going to the mall to see Santa. It's also a way for merchants to participate (in Yuletide)."

By noon Saturday, 24 gift bags had been given to children, said Ken Koll, who dressed as Santa.

Just one gift

Koll said he was impressed with a lot of children asking him for only one gift. He said popular items children were asking for were PlayStation Portable and Guitar Hero.

"It's an opportunity for parents to find out what kids want," Koll said.

April and James Ferguson brought their children to see Santa Claus at Eichholz Flowers.

April said her 7-year-old daughter, Alyssa Johnson, "was really anxious."

Johnson asked Santa Claus for a dollhouse and a Barbie Hot Wheels car.

Having Santa Claus in Waynesboro "beats having to drive to Hagerstown or Chambersburg," April said.

Koll enjoys volunteering his time as Santa Claus because of how the children react.

"As soon as you put on this costume, you become an icon," Koll said. "Little kids are great because they still have that imagination."

Festival continues

This is the second weekend of Yuletide in Waynesboro, which began Dec. 8. Mainstreet Waynesboro Inc. is hosting an office open house today from 1 to 4 p.m., and on Dec. 22, there will be a breakfast with Santa at 9 a.m. at the Waynesboro Elks Club.

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