Christmas is just around the corner and Santa is already on the road, checking off destinations on his tour around the world, piling up wish lists and asking kids if they have been nice or naughty since they last saw him.
So the Jolly Old Elf made his first appearance in Waverly on Saturday in between visits to area communities.
At Kolhmann Park, where his cozy house sits during the Christmas celebrations, a line of kids and parents awaited him impatiently. The green grass in the park, the blue sky and the sound of the river flowing over the dam at a soothing pace created the impression that Santa may have come during the wrong season.
Even though the backdrop against which this scene was unfolding appeared unseasonable, the eagerness of the kids to meet Santa brought the spirit of the upcoming holidays into focus.
Several of them had brought letters with their gift ideas and handed them off to Santa, others placed the sealed envelopes in the mailbox, which sits off to the left of the entrance.
Before taking his seat in his house next to a fireplace where a bucketful of candy canes awaited those brave enough to sit on Santa’s lap for a picture, Santa said he had arrived on foot.
Over the years, Santa had told Waverly Newspapers that he likes walking because burning calories shrinks his belly and adds a spark to his smile, but this time he explained his walking with the fact that it was deer-hunting season and he didn’t want any of his fast-hoofed friends to be mistaken for game.
While waiting in line a girl from Clarksville said she wanted a more traditional gift like a diary or a notebook because she likes English and storytelling and a little boy from Nashua said he wanted a drone.
Technology gifts appear to be on the rise, Santa said, and his tech savvy elves, Gadget and Gizmo, had worked extra hard to ensure that all orders are accounted for.
“The elves are trying to wire my sleigh — real scary — I am not real technical,” Santa admitted.