A very large crowd jammed into the White Hall Community Center Dec. 12 for the village’s annual Christmas party, a longstanding event meant to ensure that area children have a chance to get some attention from Santa.
Heaps of finger food and trays of cookies lined the wall to the kitchen and under the windows opposite were two tables strewn with craft goods where Christmas tree ornaments were being made.
Folding chairs filled all the area in front of the band, Pete and Ellen Vigour, who have played for the party for more than 30 years. This year they were joined by their daughter Rachel on bass and by fiddle legend Lovell Coleman, now 92, and by a promising 7-year-old violin student of Pete’s, Paci Bonham. The band played Christmas carols while everyone waited for Santa to arrive.
About 25 kids made up the front row, facing the sofa where Santa would sit. Wanda Bruce got them to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and then read the story of the Nativity from a large children’s book, showing the pictures as she went.
Santa arrived in a jolly mood and was very tender with the kids. He listened closely to their faint voices and gave everybody a present.
The Christmas spirit happened again, which is why this occasion always brings people out.