Anza Civic Improvement League hosts ‘Country Christmas at the Park’

From left to right, elves Kelly Clark and Sage Dunigan, Santa, Mrs. Santa and reindeer Tabitha Dawes and Sedona Dawes-Vollmer enjoy the festivities at the Anza Civic Improvement League “Country Christmas at the Park” event Saturday, Dec. 16. Diane Sieker photo

Santa, Mrs. Claus, crafts, hot chocolate, cookies and fun made for Christmas magic at Anza Civic Improvement League’s “Country Christmas at the Park” event Saturday, Dec. 16.

The ACIL hosted the festivities in the Little Red School House where children and adults participated in crafting Christmas ornaments, decorating the live tree and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Realtor Robyn Garrison and Jeral Cools from Common Grounds coffee shop were on hand in the park to distribute free spiced cider, coffee and hot chocolate. The hot beverages were very welcome on the crisp, cool evening. Cookies and popcorn were served inside the schoolhouse and gift bags given out to each child.

“It was a lot of fun,” Dawn Webster Gillam said. “My kids had fun making ornaments while enjoying yummy treats.”

Outside, the park pavilion was sheeted with durable greenhouse plastic on all sides, thanks to Russell Kitchen with the Soil Kitchen. With the addition of a propane heater, the building was a warm yet open space to enjoy those hot cups of brew.

It was reported and confirmed by a reliable source that all the children were on St. Nick’s venerable “Good List.”

“One little boy did say he tried to be good but sometimes was bad,” Mrs. Claus said with a knowing grin. “I told him it’s never too late to be good again.”

According to the ACIL, about 60 children, their parents, relatives and siblings attended the celebration.

“Much fun was had by all that attended, especially Santa, Mrs. Claus, the elves and the reindeer. Thank you Anza for a great night,” reindeer helper Tabitha Dawes said. She and her daughter Sedona donned antlers for the occasion.

Santa Claus himself said he was pleased with the event.

“Ho, ho, ho. I was very pleased that all the good children came to see me,” Santa exclaimed with a twinkle in his eye. “I am working hard to make their wishes come true.”

For more information on ACIL and the raffle event, visit them on Facebook or on the web at

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