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Youngsters will be able to ring in the holiday season by having Breakfast with Santa and then make holiday gifts and crafts at two events on Dec. 5 in the Red Brick School, 145 N. Fourth St.

Both programs are sponsored by the Lewiston Village Recreation Department and are open to residents and nonresidents. There is a small fee and registration requirement for the breakfast with Santa, while the arts and crafts are free.

"Breakfast with Santa" begins at 10 a.m. with cereal, fresh fruit, doughnuts, juice or milk served by "elves" (local Girl Scouts) on kid-level tables.

"The kids start their breakfast, and then Santa appears and chats with each one at the table and then sits in his chair, where the kids can go up to talk to him and receive a souvenir to take home," explained Marianne Gittermann, village recreation director.

"We have place cards on the tables so that the smaller kids can sit closer to Santa's chair. You should see when Santa appears -- the glow in the children's eyes is kind of cool. There's a kind of hush."

This is the third year for the breakfast, which can now accommodate up to 100 children.

You can make reservations by calling 754-1990 (evenings) or 754-8271 (days). Last year, walk-ins had to be turned away after 70 spots were filled, so make your reservations early, Mrs. Gittermann advised.

The cost is $4.25 per child, and coffee and doughnuts will be available for the parents for a nominal fee. The event, which lasts about 45 minutes, generally attracts children from the ages of about 1 to 7 or 8, she added.

The "Holiday Arts and Crafts," held in the gym on the same day from 1 to 3 p.m., will feature a dozen tables where children ages 4 and up can make everything from Christmas ornaments to centerpieces. There is no charge for materials and no registration required.

"The kids can make as many different items as they would like, but there is a limit of one project per table," Mrs. Gittermann said. "The kids should wear paint shirts and the parents bring empty bags or boxes for the kids to take their things home in."

The first year the recreation department sponsored this program, it attracted 30 to 40 children, Mrs. Gittermann recalled. Last year, 125 participated, ages 4 to about 16.

"We try to have two adults at each table to help the younger kids," she said. "Some of the projects are more involved, and some are simpler. We always need more volunteers. You can call the recreation department or just show up that day if you'd like to help."

Among the other crafts featured this year will include pillows to stuff and sew shut, plaster figurines to paint, and apothecary jars to fill with candy.

"We do this in conjunction with the Christmas Walk, to give kids something to do during the Walk," Mrs. Gittermann added. This is very relaxed -- there is no right or wrong way to do anything; we just try to encourage creativity."