Santa brings wonder, joy and Christmas magic to Charlotte

Margo Swayze with Santa.
Margo Swayze with Santa. Photo by Chea Evans

The weather didn’t quite feel like December in Vermont, but it definitely felt Christmassy at the Charlotte Fire Station on Sunday, Dec. 13, when Santa rolled in on a fire truck to make sure all the kids in Charlotte got a treat and some lap time before the big day arrives. After a couple false alarms—Owen Daley, 5, insisted, “I can see Santa’s sleigh behind those trees!”—he finally arrived, with lights flashing.

“Did Santa hitchhike on the fire truck?” one child asked.

Laura Iglehart, one of Santa’s helpers and a firm discourager of hitchhiking, assured him that Santa knows how to call the fire department and get a ride if he needs one. With a belly full of ho ho hos, Santa pulled up with a wave of his famous white gloves, hopped in his nimble way (despite that belly like a bowl full of jelly) off the ladder, and greeted the eager crowd.

Well, some weren’t quite so eager. Seamus Farley, 3, who wasn’t so sure about this whole Santa thing, remarked to his mother, “I don’t want to go near that guy.”

Wolfie Davis, 12, though, was heard reminding another young firehouse visitor, “Santa’s a nice guy!”

St. Nick knew what he was there for, though, and lingering on the sidewalk with his admirers wasn’t a priority. He soon made his way inside the firehouse, where eager children waited to sit in his lap and share their lists.

And lists they had … popular items requested this year were the ubiquitous Legos, robots, American Girl dolls and fire trucks. One child asked for a real car, which Santa had the good sense to talk him out of, and Scarlett Bowen, 3, asked for a kitty, which Santa only said yes to after Scarlett’s mom rushed to add that it was only going to be a “fake” kitty. Santa is totally fine with bringing toy pets, but did have to break the news to a couple kids that he can’t bring live animals on his sleigh.

Santa’s elves were by his side all afternoon, handing out goody bags and helping with some of the more hesitant lap-sitters.

Cookies and other goodies were plentiful, and despite the lack of white stuff, the spirit of the season was all around.