Sitting on Santa’s lap. Most kids have at least one memory of sitting in Santa’s lap as a child. In Millersburg, Santa made a couple different appearances during the Christmas season. The first time was usually at the tree lighting right after Thanksgiving. Then later on, he’d visit one of the local businesses so that the kids in town could come sit on his lap and tell him what they wanted for Christmas.
Most of my memories of visiting Santa took place at the hardware store. He sat somewhere at the back of the store, and my parents would take my brother and me to see him. There was always a long line, and I always looked at all the things on the shelves as we waited. Most of the items were boring, but I do recall being fascinated by the different sizes of nails in the bins, as well as by the various kinds of hammers. When we finally reached Santa, Gary and I would often both sit on his lap at the same time. Gary always had a list, and one year I recall it being very, very long. My parents chastised him afterwards, but Santa found it amusing and praised Gary’s reading and writing skills. I usually didn’t have a written list, but just listed random things. My parents never had to scold me about listing too many “wants;” they did, however, grumble at me because I always spoke barely above a whisper, and they could never hear what I told Santa. I began to have my suspicions about him after I refused to tell my parents what I’d asked Santa for. I didn’t receive one single thing off my list that year.
Other memories of Santa visits were at my church. He would visit at some point during the Christmas season, either after the Christmas play or after caroling or a party. He’d come in to the fellowship hall and sit on the stage so everyone could get pictures with their kids. Everyone got a candy cane and an orange, and one time there were ice cream cones.