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River Creek Blog: Memories of Holiday Cheer

Probably most of us can recall when something stood out in the past as a Christmas or holiday experience. For example:

The Real Santa: Those that have donned the red suit should be commended for their dedication during the holiday season. Some while back I met a gentleman who shared his time as Santa Claus at one of the local Malls. He had the natural girth and a tidy white beard that rested naturally on his chest. He even occasionally expressed himself with a ‘ho ho ho’. It turned out that he also was the owner of a craft shop that made toys— one could wonder if his workers there were elves. The children flocked to him accordingly and he was very accommodating. When asked his most unusual request, he said, “One young lad asked if he could have the store fronts to build a shopping mall. And the next year he asked for material to make a rocket ship.”

Fantasy Flight: In 2001, I was privileged to be able to join the United Airlines Fantasy Flight at Dulles Airport when 106 children boarded the bus that took them to one of the terminals that had been decorated for Christmas and where Santa and Mrs. Claus were holding court.These children had been in the care of International Children’s Hospice and as such were terminally ill. It was a special treat for them as they had little otherwise to look forward to. One young man when asked what his wishes were for Christmas. “I wish that I can come back here next year.”

Many will remember eleven year old Mattie Stepanek who was there with his mother and had been coming for the past seven years. By the following year he had passed away from a rare blood disorder. Meantime, he had published a book of poetry that made the Times best seller list.

Christmas Day Brunch

The Lansdowne Resort and Spa will have a Christmas Day Brunch on Dec. 25 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Santa will be absent, after a night of worldwide travel he will likely need to rest. The brunch will take place at the Riverside Hearth and Terrace Ballroom at a cost for adults of $85; $30 for ages 4-12; under 3 are free. Call 703-726-1449 for reservations.

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