Every year Hudson has a holiday walk. There are live reindeer on the green, Victorian carolers, roasting chestnuts, free hot cocoa & cookies in the shops, carriage rides, Santa, a live nativity scene with real donkeys and sheep… you name it! The kids see their old teachers, and wave to friends from their class. Mid-west, small town Christmas at it’s best. The really cool thing is that while you might expect it to be some crazy “waiting in line” rushed extravaganza… it really isn’t. It’s quiet and beautiful, and completely unhurried. Hey… if we want glitz and glamour… we’ll head to the mall. Our family tradition is to buy a Christmas book at the Learned Owl (our tiny, local, independent bookshop) to add to our ever growing collection. Learned Owl occupies a Victorian storefront right downtown :
We went to the basement where the seasonal/holiday books are kept. Guess who we saw… childrens’ book author, Jeffery L. Schatzer… or was it Santa Claus? I must admit that my little ones weren’t quite sure! Maybe he was both. Anyway, it was a wonderful experience. I just love to hear books read by the author. Since there were so few people down there (my two, plus maybe 3 or 4 others) it was truly a personal experience. He spoke to each child for several minutes, and answered all their questions. Mr. Schatzer is also a recognized expert on all things Santa, and an authority on the poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” So this guy really knows his stuff! We purchased both of his Christmas themed books and, of course, had him sign them. I watched as he signed his given name, and then a personal inscription for the kids…. We didn’t actually READ the inscription until we came home from the event and settled in by the fire to read our new accquisitions…
“To my dear friends – Miranda & Ben – Believe Forever! – SANTA”
Now… if THAT isn’t absolutely magical, I don’t know what is!