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Children, adults enjoy Breakfast with Santa at Independent Fire Company

By Staff | Dec 7, 2018

Henry Christie, Santa, waves hello as friends gather for breakfast. Photo by Toni Milbourne.

RANSON — The volunteers at Independent Fire Company served their annual Breakfast with Santa to children and adults alike on Saturday morning.

The breakfast included pancakes, eggs, homemade sausage, gravy, biscuits and drinks, while Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus were on hand to greet all of the children.

The breakfast has become the start of a traditional day of events for people, who follow it with attending Christmas parades in both Shepherdstown and Charles Town, as well as seek bargains at local craft markets.

According to the event’s Santa Claus, also known as Dr. Henry Christie, Saturday’s forecast of bad weather had already lessened the amount of folks planning to attend the parades.

“I thought one of the guys asked me if I had my reindeer ready,” Christie said. “But what he really asked was if I had my rain gear ready.”

Regardless of the forecast, regulars were not disappointed by the event.

“We come early, just after seven,” said Locke Wysong, who attended breakfast with his dad and sister. “One year we came later and there were so many kids to see Santa that we make sure to get here before them now.”

Mary Braithwaite agreed, saying she, too, comes early to get breakfast.

“But then I love to stay and see all the children come in dressed up to see Santa,” Braithwaite said.

The taste buds were not just given a treat with the breakfast, however. Attendees were able to take home any number of delicious items on sale by the company’s auxiliary.

The treats, ranging from cookies to fudge to cakes and candy were mostly provided by one loyal member of the fire company’s auxiliary. Current auxiliary president Susan Davis said she made more than 90 percent of the items for the baked good sale.

“I think I baked about 175 dozen cookies,” Davis said, before listing off some of the items that came out of her kitchen over the past week. “I did peanut butter and chocolate fudge, banana bread, rolls, apple sauce cakes, chocolate with peanut butter icing, pineapple upside down cake and coconut bonbons.”

“I want to raise all the money I can for this department. Knowing we [the auxiliary] raise money to help have these trucks and ambulances that can get out and serve the community-that’s my motivation,” Davis said.

Young families began to flock in just before 8 a.m., turning into a steady stream throughout the morning. Each child was greeted by Santa and Mrs. Claus, given an opportunity to share their wish lists and receive a small gift from Santa, before the event ended.

Although Santa was also participating in the Charles Town Christmas Parade later that day, he first had a few stops to make at the hospital.

“I spend the time between the breakfast and the parade visiting the hospital,” Christie said. “We go to the ER, the OB wing and even to intensive care. People love visits.”