HOLTVILLE — Even among the bustle of holiday shopping, many busy adults will admit Christmas is most often about the children and the Meyer Memorial Library took this to heart Dec. 18 to create a winter wonderland to delight community youth.
From toddlers with caregivers to
kindergarteners through sixth graders, nearly 50 students from Finley Elementary
and Pine schools made their way through chilly December streets to discover the
grandeur at the Holtville book mecca.
The goal of Lorenza Carpenter, library
assistant, and her helpers, was to stimulate imaginations and a watchful an eye
was kept on the clock while the countdown crept toward the arrival of Father
Toy Shops Made
This was a hands-on experience that
challenged the minds and coordination of children to solve the mystery of a
knock-off Lego set to construct replicas of Santa’s Toy Shop.
Sebastian Castellon, a fourth-grade
student at Finley School, flashed the natural-born nimbleness of a Thomas
Edison. He assembled his toy shop so efficiently he was able to shepherd
classmates Noah Flores, third grade, and Kitzia Velasquez, second grade,
through the maze of construction.
“You have to put it flat (Lego
pieces), snap it together and then you flip it,” Sebastian encouraged his
Noah, watching Sebastian out of a corner
of one eye and assembling his toy shop with another, struggled at first yet
eventually caught up with Sebastian.
“I spent more than five minutes
putting on the roof of this house, now it’s getting hard. I thought you said it
was easy,” protested Noah, before adding, “Oh, I see. You have to
turn the edge of the roof with this side down.”
But once their pieces were assembled Noah
and Kitzia gleefully pealed back the protective layer of the adhesive side of
the stickers and decorated their dollhouse-sized toy shops with colorful candy
canes, mistletoe and, yes, even tiny reindeer.
Joseph Flores, Noah’s second grade kid
brother, thought the Santa’s Toy Shop was a “cool project” but was
eager for the visit with Santa since he wanted two special things.
“One of the special things is Ryan’s
glow-in-the-dark treasure chest (aka: wonder treasure chest),” said
Joseph. “I’ve seen it on TV a lot and it’s very cool. And, I want Ryan’s
World giant mystery egg. It comes in lots of colors but I want the light blue
Parents Enjoy Seeing Kids Have Fun
Working diligently piecing together his
Santa’s Toy Shop was Jaden Gutierrez, a kindergartner at Pine.
“My favorite was the snowman because
it’s made out of snow (construction paper),” said Jaden.
Luis Gutierrez, his father, helped Jaden
aim an indoor version of the bean bag toss (feathered Christmas tree bulbs)
through the slots of the grid.
“I like this (library crafts),”
said Gutierrez. “He likes Legos at home. He’s very creative.”
Gingerly fashioning their jewelry, Delilah
Martinez, a second-grade Finley student, and close friend Luna Plancarte, a
second-grade home-schooled student, made bracelets from pipe cleaners, beads,
buttons and dog collar bells.
Carpenter also dazzled children with the
warmhearted story “A Very Fiona Christmas” by Richard Cowdrey.
The Day’s Big Event
Just when the children were most engrossed
with their projects, Georgina Camacho, Holtville Planning Commission president
and Library Summer Program director, at last announced the arrival of Santa
Claus. Jaden Gutierrez, one of the first to visit with Santa, gave the old
gentleman a bear of a hug when presented with his bag of treats.
“I can open these right now?” he
asked his mother, Jocelyn Barraza.
“This was a fun experience,”
said Barraza. “We’re just staying home in Holtville for Christmas and
visiting with my mom.”
Allison Ortiz, a Finley kindergarten
student, stopped at the library checkout desk to thoughtfully write out a
Christmas wish list that included a bicycle and a set of monkey bars.
Carefully sorting through their Santa
treats by the library exit were Joseph and Noah Flores. Joseph brandished an
animated movie poster while Noah reticently brought out his comic book, Doctor
Strange (2018) by Mark Waid and Jesus Saiz.
“I think it’s wonderful the library
puts on this nice little visit with Santa,” said Chloe Flores, the
brothers’ mother. “It’s great for the children in the neighborhood.”
Carpenter, “Today was a wonderful day and we thank the community for
coming to visit with Santa.”