Second in line to see Santa Claus, 7-year-old Jada Miller couldn’t wait to tell him what she wanted for Christmas.
But before she could get the words out, Santa’s cellphone rang.
“Now that’s never happened before,” Jada said.
It could have been Mrs. Claus or one of the elves at the workshop, so she didn’t mind Santa taking the call.
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Afterward, she got down to business and told him she had been a good girl this year and wanted a Wubble Bubble Ball.
“It’s like a bubble but doesn’t pop, unless you get it too close to something sharp,” she said.
Jada and her parents Matt and Brianne Miller, of Seymour, braved the freezing, blustery weather Monday night for the annual One Chamber Christmas held downtown at One Chamber Square. The event has become a holiday tradition for the Millers.
“It’s something fun to do, and it puts you in the mood for Christmas,” Brianne Miller said.
“I like to see how excited she gets to see Santa,” Matt Miller said of his daughter. “It’s what Christmas is all about.”
Although Santa, who arrived in style on a firetruck with Seymour Mayor Craig Luedeman, was the highlight of the night for most, there were plenty of other things for families to see and do.
Kids could pet and have their pictures taken with Olaf and Sven-agin, two reindeer and Hooligan, a Eurasian eagle-owl and joke around with elves’ Jingle John, Eggnog Emma and Arctic Alex from Silly Safaris’ Reindeer Reserve.
Brayden Richey, 7, and his sister, Brooklyn, 4, of Seymour, were excited to see the reindeer again, this year with their grandma, Denise Revalee.
“Before, I didn’t even know reindeer were real,” Brayden said.
Brooklyn said she wouldn’t mind having her own reindeer named Sven like the one from her favorite movie — Disney’s “Frozen.”
She too was excited about getting to see Santa and planned to ask him for “Frozen stuff,” she said.
Brayden said he was going to ask for WWE 2K14 — a wrestling video game.
Besides all the presents, they both said the best part of Christmas is getting to spend more time with their family.
This year’s One Chamber Christmas was organized by the Greater Seymour Chamber of Commerce, which took it over from Seymour Main Street. Attendance was down from past years, but chamber President Tricia Bechman attributed the smaller crowd to the weather.
Denise Revalee said she appreciated the chamber putting on the event and all those involved with making it fun for kids and adults.
Also taking place during the event, was the lighting of the downtown Christmas tree. This year, Addison Garcia, 6, of Seymour, joined Santa, Luedeman and others on stage for the special moment.
“It was fun to be with Santa, and the lights make it look pretty,” she said.
Seymour Department of Public Works provided an area for children to make Christmas tree ornaments out of recycled materials, and there was a face-painting booth and food vendors, including Cupid’s Arrow Restaurant.
Jackson County Bank employees handed out free cups of hot chocolate and cookies to visitors.
“I think this is great,” Revalee said of the event. “It’s a great way to start the holiday season.”
Deb Bedwell, director of Anchor House, made her traditional appearance dressed as a Christmas angel. Sitting in a rocking chair, she read aloud the classic “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
“My grandmother used to read this to me every Christmas when I was a child,” Bedwell told the crowd. “Then she passed the book on to me. It’s very old, from 1913, but I love to share it with others.”
Afterwards, choirs from St. Ambrose Catholic School and Seymour High School performed several Christmas-themed songs for the audience.
James and Wilma Johnson of Seymour said they come to the Christmas event every year to hear their granddaughter, Sydney Johnson, 14, sing.
This year was almost a little too cold, though.
“I’m freezing to death,” Wilma said.
James Johnson said years ago, before the One Chamber Christmas event, all there was to do downtown for Christmas was come see Santa.
“I’m glad they have more,” he said.
“I like to see all the kids, and it just helps put me in the Christmas spirit,” she said.
Santa’s House Hours
Visit one-on-one with Santa to tell him what you want for Christmas. Parents can bring cameras to take their childrens’ pictures with Santa.
One Chamber Square at the corner of Chestnut and St. Louis Avenue in downtown Seymour
Friday, 5 to 7 p.m.
Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.
Dec. 12, 5 to 7 p.m.
Dec. 13, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Dec. 14, 1 to 4 p.m.
Dec. 19, 5 to 7 p.m.
Dec. 20, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Dec. 21, 1 to 4 p.m.