Santa Claus at Cross Keys House

‘Story Time With Santa’ Thursday morning

By Charles Warner -

UNION COUNTY — Where does Santa Claus find the time to make all his pre-Christmas Eve visits to Union County?

This time of year is extremely busy for Santa at the North Pole as he is overseeing the making of the growing list of toys and other Christmas gifts sent in by girls and boys from around the world. Santa’s elves are, of course, hard at work making all those requested toys and gifts, but that doesn’t mean Santa’s not busy, because after all, he’s got to read all those letters and decide if the girls and boys requesting toys have been naughty or nice this year. Then, like the CEO of any other large organization, he’s got to make sure all the work is done and ready for Christmas Eve delivery.

In addition to the toys, Santa’s also got to make sure his sleigh is ready to travel through the skies and that the reindeer that will be pulling it are all flight ready for what will be a very busy night. Santa’s also got to make sure he’s fat and jolly while also able to fit down chimneys and put toys and gifts under Christmas trees and in Christmas stockings and then going back up the chimney without making a sound.

That’s quite a workout.

Yes, Santa is very busy this time of year but despite that, he’s coming back to Union County to take part in a number of activities celebrating Christmas.

Christmas At Cross Keys House

Today is December 5, and Santa Claus will be at the Cross Keys House from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. in the “Christmas At Cross Keys House” sponsored by the Union County Historical Society.

Completed in 1814, the Cross Keys House became a part of American history in 1865 when Confederate President Jefferson Davis, members of his cabinet, and their military escort stopped there for lunch during their flight south falling the fall of the Confederate capital in Richmond, Va. near the end of the Civil War.

Since its acquisition by the Historical Society, work has been done to preserve and restore the antebellum character and appearance of the house and surrounding plantation while also providing modern conveniences for visitors.

That effort to preserve the historic character of the property will be on display today during Christmas At Cross Keys House which will emphasize the restored facilities as well as the elements that made up Christmas celebrations in the 19th century including:

• Live period Christmas music and carolers.

• An 1825 Christmas play performed by Boogaloo Folk Life Productions in the Plantation Cabin.

• Hot drinks and homemade goodies for sale in the Period Kitchen.

• Tours of the historic home and other buildings including the Period Kitchen, Cabin, Smokehouse, Blacksmith Shop, and Tool Shed.

Most importantly, Santa Claus will be there, but will be called Father Christmas, the name he was best known by in the 19th century.

Regardless of whether you call him Father Christmas, Santa Claus, Kris Kringle or St. Nicholas, Santa will be the Cross Keys House parlor to pose for pictures. You can have a 5×7 picture — which will be mailed to you — made with Father Christmas for $7.

Christmas At Cross Keys House will also give those attending the chance to do some Christmas shopping as the gift shop will be open.

Admission to Christmas At Cross Key House is $10 per car load.

Story Time With Santa

While he will return to the North Pole Saturday evening, Santa won’t stay there long as he will be back in Union on Thursday, Dec. 10 for “Story Time With Santa.”

Santa is returning at the request of Union County First Steps which is sponsoring the event which will be held at 10 a.m. in the Community Center, 201 Porter St., Union.

First Steps Executive Director Catherine Childers said that families with children ages birth to five years old are invited to bring their children to event where they will be able to make Christmas crafts and then have a story read to them by Santa. She said that each child will then receive a small gift.

For more information about Story Time With Santa, call Union County First Steps Executive Director Catherine Childers at 864-429-1740, ext. 134.

Union Christmas Parade

Santa will return to Union on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 3 p.m. for the Union Christmas Parade and any church, club, civic group, business or other organization that wants to be in the parade with him are being urged by the Union County Chamber of Commerce to register to do so.

Those want to participate in the parade are asked to contact the Chamber of Commerce at 864-427-9039 or to register their entry. All entries must be submitted no later than Wednesday, Dec. 9.

It is important that the chamber receive your completed registration form as soon as possible. There is no fee to participate in the parade, but entries must be registered in advance, and those registering must follow the instructions on the form.

You can send your forms by fax (864-427-9030), by mail, email, or drop them by the Union County Chamber of Commerce Office at 135 W. Main St., Union.
‘Story Time With Santa’ Thursday morning

By Charles Warner

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4128 or

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4128 or

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