If you listened carefully, you could almost hear Christmas songs … but, it was the animated chatter and nervous laughter of over 100 very excited children that was the prominent sound in our auditorium on December 6th. Awaiting the arrival of the guest of honor, our employees and their children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews gathered to celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas.
Looking around the room, the illusion of dancing chairs turned out to be the restless children succumbing to their excitement. Gobbling down a feast of hotdogs, french fries, and ice cream, the anticipation of St. Nick’s arrival was too much for them to sit still.
The North Pole must have heard the children as they sang a rousing chorus of “Jolly old St. Nicholas … Lean your ear this way”…for what to our wondering eyes did appear but, St. Nicholas himself … otherwise known to many of us, Resident, Bob Guretz. With his snow white beard (yes it is real) and gentle smile, he couldn’t have been a better match for the real St. Nicholas. He was dressed in a flowing white robe and gold trimmed miter. Walking around the auditorium he welcomed the children and they followed him like the Pied Piper. Accompanying St. Nick, were helpers and fellow Residents’ Helen Skill, Paula Kelly and Rose Saret. St. Nick then sat in his chair under an archway decorated with sparkling garland. Each child and some adults had a turn to talk to St. Nick. They each received a special gift picked out especially for them.
As the evening was coming to an end, young and old alike couldn’t help but be filled with the child-like joy that this Blessed Christmas season brings.
Walking back to his apartment, just before Bob was out of sight, we heard a faint echo from down the corridor … “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!“
Please click here to view our photo slideshow from this event.