Cookies and milk with Mrs. Claus

Published 10:19 pm Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Cookies and milk with Mrs. Claus isn’t a bad Wednesday morning for a preschooler.

The 70 or so students at St. Andrew Preschool got to experience that this week. Mrs. Claus also told the story of the birth of Jesus Christ to the youngsters, led them in singing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus and prayed for them.

“This is something we do every year to remind them why we’re celebrating Christmas,” said preschool director Carol Carnegie. “It’s not just Santa Claus.”

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The children got the chance to take pictures with Mrs. Claus and ask her questions. She said she would report to her husband that all of the children had been very good.

“Sometimes we’re all a little bad, but then we get good,” she told one student who feared he would not get much from Santa because he had been bad.

Carnegie said the annual program helps the children understand that Christmas is about the gift of Christ’s birth.

“We’re trying to let them make a connection between the secular and the Christian,” she said. “We are a faith-based preschool, and we try to share that message with the kids.”

Carnegie said Mrs. Claus was played by Kathy Romanczyk, who is a member of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church. The preschool and the church are affiliated and located at 1885 Bridge Road.

Some of the children also attend the church, but every year they fail to recognize Romanczyk in her Mrs. Claus attire, Carnegie said.

The preschool serves children from 2 ½ to 4 years old and has 11 teachers and assistants, Carnegie said. It has existed for about 40 years.