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Santa prepared to distribute gifts in Cherokee. Photo by Dave Ralph.

Santa Returns to Cherokee for Decades Old Tradition

As they all gathered on the ground, the children waited for Santa’s arrival on Christmas Eve in Cherokee Sound.  It seems like they are waiting forever, but soon they hear him coming with music and lights blaring on his latest, motorized sleigh. Everyone moves in to take a photo and welcome him.  He’s jolly and fat, and he quickly moved to his seat of honour by the community tree (which was exceptionally beautiful this year), to hand out the children’s gifts and have his photo taken.

Santa has a new helper this year to hand out the children’s gifts.  Michael Bethel filled in for Hartis Pinder who has been calling out the children’s names for forty years, since he had to have some urgent medical attention.

It is not an easy job with the children so anxious and excited.

When the last gift is given out, Santa is given a final farewell for 2016 and he is off to his next destination. The crowd moved quickly over to the Community Center where friends and neighbours had prepared a feast for everyone to enjoy.

As usual the ladies of Cherokee outdid themselves and everyone received a plate of food who wanted one.  Of course, many had their own family parties at home, but the school patio was set up with tables and chairs and a crowd of at least one hundred sat and stayed to finish their food, reminiscing with old friends.

This tradition has been carried out each and every Christmas Eve in Cherokee Sound since 1944, missing out on only one occasion.  It makes your heart swell to see the old traditions repeated year after year, and this year was no exception.

So, here’s hoping you have a Happy New Year and we’ll see you next year.

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