7th Day: Santa Celebrations of Ours & a Small Town

The seventh day of our twenty five days we had a day of tradition- both of our family and of a small country city.

We make a point to go to the library every year when Santa & Mrs. Claus come and read their favorite books.  Santa also gives facts about himself, the North Pole, Christmas and at the end every child gets one on one time with the couple.

Mrs. Claus read “Snowflakes Fall” by Patricia Machlachlan and Santa read “The Night Before Christmas“.  This year, Santa even brought an elf down from the North Pole to help!  Her name was Sydney and she even read a book as well.

Marshall (in gray) listening intently

Mrs. Claus reading


Elf Sydney showing the pictures in her book


Santa reading his favorite book

I especially love this visit with Santa because he explains a lot- like how he doesn’t go down chimney’s anymore because Mrs. Claus doesn’t like to wash out the soot and some people forget to put our their fires.  It was at this time that a little girl proudly said “That’s why we leave our door unlocked for you!” Santa quickly told everyone to please NOT keep your doors unlocked at night for him, he has a magic key that gets him into everyone’s homes so no need to leave doors open or unlocked.  He also explained that it doesn’t matter how good you’ve been all year- he cannot give you everything you ask for on your Christmas list.  It doesn’t mean you weren’t a very good little boy/ girl or that he doesn’t love you, he just doesn’t have enough room on his sleigh for everything every child asks for in the world.  He also does not deliver live pets as they do not fair well on the chilly sleigh way up in the sky.

Marshall with the Clauses and their elf

When it was time to line up to get one on one time with Santa we waited in line, Marshall kept wanting to run up to the front of the line to see him and was getting upset that I wouldn’t let him cut in line.  Marshall finally got to the front of the line and ran right up to Santa giving him a big hug and sat on his lap.  The instant he sat on Santa’s lap Marshall wilted and acted very shy.  All knowing Santa quietly asked Marshall “Do you like ‘choo-choos’?”, Marshall’s eyes instantly widened and a faint smile grew across his face and he softly and lowly nodded ‘yes’.  That made Santa giggle and he said “Well we’ll see what Sydney and I can do about that.”  And with that Marshall gave Santa a hug and we headed home to pick up Brad.

Elf Syd getting a candy cane for Marshall

Brad worked an extended shift due to Christmas on the River and his regular shift so he slept until early afternoon.  Marshall and I got back from our special story time with Santa & Mrs. Claus, had a quick lunch, packed a lunch for the road for Brad, woke Brad up and got ready to head out to ‘A Country Christmas’ at Lanesfield Historic Site in Kansas.

Lanesfield is a small one room school house nestled in the heart of farmland.  It was amazing to see old pictures of children of all ages learning in that single room with a lone prim teacher heading the class.  It was also fun to hear different parents pointing out grandparents and great aunts and uncles to their children in some of the pictures (it was in service until the late 1940s).  There were even some artifacts that survived the school fire of 1903.

Lanesfield one room school house


Being greeted, getting cookies, and sitting nicely at ‘his’ seat

At the beginning, the ‘teachers’ gave the children cookies and cocoa- this obviously won Marshall over in about point two five seconds.  We made our way from the small one room museum up to the one room school house located in the back.  We were welcomed by one of the teachers, who was dressed in what would be expected of teachers at the turn of the century to wear.  She introduced herself and gave some facts about the schoolhouse, all the while Marshall sat at his small desk listening intently.  The school house was set up where the elementary size desks were at the front and they steadily grew in size the further back you went.

School teacher introducing herself


The school


Marshall at his little desk


Clapping for the presentation

A fourth grade choir from one of the surrounding Kansas schools sang a few short carols, Marshall clapped but then wanted to join them- yea that wasn’t going to happen.  He lives for the lime light, even if its meant for others, so he had to sit with dad as to not disrupt the carolers.  After the kids were done, we were able to do crafts that would have been offered to the children at the turn of the century.  Marshall and Brad made a pine cone ornament, it was a simple (obviously, because of the era) ornament using just a pine cone with a piece of ribbon to tie to the pointy end of the cone to attach to our tree and using a piece of ruffled lace to tuck into the crevices of the pine cone to dress it up.  There was also small chalk board and ink wells with parchment to write to Santa on.  We didn’t stay for Santa as we already saw him just an hour earlier, but they did have a basket of fruit for Santa to pass out too as this would be what would be considered a treat in December at the turn of the century.

Marshall (far left) watching the children carol


Dad helping Marshall tie the ribbon around the cone


The inkwells, parchment, and the chalk boards


Trying to pump water

On our way out Marshall decided to try to pump some water for the road.  It was such a nice, unique way to celebrate Christmas past.  I have always had a love for history, so this was definitely a good fit.  Marshall seemed to really enjoy the atmosphere as well, especially liking his small desk.

Our seventh day was a fun day of tradition, both ours and of others.  We heard explanations from Santa which can help curb any little ones’ expectations and we celebrated the history of a tiny school that history forgot.  Tomorrow we are hoping to venture back over to Kansas, weather permitting, so keep your fingers crossed the snow holds out for our Journey.



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