Christmas at the library

First into Santa’s lap was Hannah Hilliker, who asked for a hula hoop and told Santa she is a good girl and cleans her room.

Santa and Mrs. Claus made a stop at Jane Holmes Public Library where toddlers greeted them — some smiling shyly, others in tears — at the momentous occasion.

Mrs. Claus was busily multi-tasking, comforting those unsure of the bearded white gent while making a flying balloon reindeer for each child.

Ashlynn Perrine, who moved with her family to Helena from Michigan this past summer, had on her list “a pink guitar and a bike” and toy trucks for her 9-month old-brother, Brecken.

Marley Wilkes recently celebrated her third birthday with a Tinkerbell party and asked for Santa to bring her a Tinkerbell doll.

Pre-school twins Harper and Laney Wilson just that morning found the Elf on the Shelf hidden in one of their Christmas stockings.

Santa himself expressed that, “I want all of Helena’s children to have the wishes of their hearts come true and to learn to love one another.”

When probed about their after-Christmas plans, Santa said, “Mrs. Claus and I will go back to the North Pole and unwind with cups of hot chocolate in our matching recliners.”

Afterwards the children enjoyed holiday treats made by the library staff and set their balloon reindeer flying to a chorus of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

Jane Pennington, who is the library’s favorite storyteller on Tuesday and Thursday at 11 a.m., said that she recommends the “Big Red Barn” and “Christmas in the Barn” by Margaret Wise Brown during this season.

Library Director Dan Dearing’s Christmas wish is for everyone to visit the library soon and check out the new books, movies and music now available.

Asst. Director Tracy Arnold recalled a memorable Christmas back when she was 14. “That year my dad had to work on Christmas Day at Cheney Lime & Cement. Our family packed up our Christmas dinner and took it to eat with him inside one of the big kilns.”

Staffer Peggy Luker says that she will celebrate Christmas with family and make her always-requested cranberry salad and peanut butter pie. Cathy Price noted that she and her husband, Mike, have been looking forward to gifting each other with a Kitchenaid Mixer with the meat grinder attachment in anticipation of making homemade bread and sausage.

The library staff wishes a safe and Happy New Year to all.

Laura Brookhart can be reached by e-mail at