Tomorrow is the Manhattan Christmas Stroll. Of course Stan will be the Santa for it. He will be at the school library first then ride a fire engine (I know-cool!) downtown to the bank where he will pose for pictures with a couple hundred kids. The pictures are compliments of the Manhattan State Bank, something they do every year. They print the photos right away and put them in a nice framed keepsake card.
The cool thing about tomorrow? My three youngest grandkids get to ride in the big fire engine with Santa! The fireman is a good friend of ours and said it would be just fine. The firefighters are super to us anyway, they always give Stan a check to help defray the cost of his Santa goodies and the gas he burns making all his trips. His favorite thing is to show up (prearranged) at someone's house and watch the kids' faces. He loves it, but in recent years he has done more gatherings, clubs, churches, and day cares. He's pushing 70 now and it's just less tiring to see the kids all at once. Of course he's the Santa for the Manhattan grade school program too.
He still does as many house calls as he can, but the number is dwindling. More and more of the parents are opting for the larger group setting. For sure he visits the grandkids and he loves it when a charity group asks him to deliver gifts. He has been asked to be a Mall Santa for years but has always turned them down. This year his good friend, the main Mall Santa, had another important Santa job and asked him to cover for him at the mall. He finally said yes, but they had already found someone. It's fine, he was still not sure about that scene anyway.
I have to work but I get off at 5:00 so I'll fly home, change my clothes and pop in at the bank. I'll miss seeing the fire engine ride but I've been promised lots of pictures. And I'm sure the kids will be so excited I'll hear all about it!
Afterward it's our tradition for just the two of us to have a late dinner at Sir Scott's Oasis, a landmark Mom-and-Pop steakhouse. A good day!