By Susan Greer, Alpha School volunteer
Friday the 13th, some believe, can be a very unlucky day; however, for all of the first graders at Alpha Elementary School last Friday, it was a very lucky day indeed. You see, Santa Claus and his driver, Mrs. Claus took a break from supervising and instructing their massive elf labor force, to drop in and have some time chatting with the wide-eyed and enchanted 6 year olds in Mrs. Bailey Hernandez’s first grade class.
The darlings were completely surprised and smiles appeared on faces all around the room. Santa promptly started a rousing sing-along of “Jingle Bells” to which the children heartily chimed in. Santa took each child aside, gave out candy canes and chatted with each to find out what his/her Christmas request was so he could get their requests back to the North Pole elves to start working to fill the orders.
Some of the children spoke right up and some were a bit shy when whispering into the “microphone” ball on the end of Santa’s stocking cap! But each let him know exactly what was on the top of the list for Christmas. The darlings were so in awe that a pin dropping in the classroom could be heard for miles.
A question and answer period followed each individual Santa chat. Santa was in rare form as he deftly fielded the surprising questions:
First Grader: How many elves do you have Santa?
Santa: Well, there are many, many, many elves in the workshop this time of year. I believe there are about 4,000 at this very moment working very hard to fill all the children’s requests.
First Grader: Can I be one of your elves?
Santa: Do you have 200 years for the apprentice elf program? It takes quite a long time to learn all the elf jobs, like what and how to feed my reindeer, pack my sleigh so the toys don’t get broken on my ride around the world, and produce all the toys.
First Grader: What do your reindeer eat?
Santa: It’s a very special blend of magic dust, made from moon beams and star twinkles and rolled oats. That is mixed each morning by the senior elves and fed to Rudolph and the rest of them.
First Grader: What are the reindeer names besides Donner and Blitzen?
Santa: There is George, Harry, Ike, Maria, Mike, Larry, Floyd, Francine, Hector, Ivan, and about 90 more in the reindeer training program.
After the Q&A in Room 7, Santa was escorted to Room 6 where two more first grade classes convened to enjoy Santa’s visit. The children were again star-struck and enchantment reigned throughout the room. “Jingle Bells” rang out from all the little voices as they joined Santa in song, followed again by many questions.
Then it was on to Room 12 where he obligingly read “Twas The Night Before Christmas” to a captivated audience. Cameras snapped and candy canes were distributed, then Santa announced he had to get back to the North Pole to see what his busy elves were doing on all the Christmas gift requests.
He waved goodbye to the wide-eyed six year olds and said, “Be good, I’ll stop by your house on Christmas Eve so be asleep. I will leave something wonderful for you.”
The first graders at Alpha Elementary School will not soon forget Santa Claus’ visit to find out up-close and personally, what they want from him and his hard-working elves this Christmas!
Note: When Santa is not supervising the North Pole elves, he inhabits the persona of Ken Miller, retired Fresno County Probation Department training officer.