Of course, I needed to be absolutely sure what I had heard was correct before I repeated it. So, I started thinking of people who might know.
Naturally I thought about Mrs. Santa and the elves. Since I do not have a telephone number for Mrs. Santa or any of the elves in the North Pole workshop, I could not call any of them.
Next, my thoughts turned to Rudolph. That would not work either. Not in my wildest dreams could I imagine having a conversation with a reindeer.
Then I had another idea. I would call one of Santa’s helpers. Those I know best are Fred McDougal and Tim Cavender.
Fred has worked for Santa in a huge mall in New York City in the past and will be working this year at nearby Town Center Mall.
Tim has worked for Santa for many years. This year he will be at the Governor’s Mansion in Atlanta and also in Chattanooga checking twice on who has been bad or good.
Since I needed to leave home for a Canton Rotary Club meeting, I jotted down Fred’s and Tim’s telephone numbers as I went out the door with plans to call them that afternoon.
But an amazing thing happened. I did not need to call Fred or Tim. Jeff Mitchell is the president of Canton Rotary Club. He had heard the news, too.
You see, after ages of boys and girls putting cookies and milk under their tree on Christmas Eve, Santa has announced he likes pancakes as much, or better, than he does cookies. What a revelation!
Jeff was concerned about that, too. After all, pancakes are supposed to be buttered and eaten right after they come off the stove. Cold pancakes are not tasty.
Another thing he had been thinking about was how many families already have special Santa plates. On them is written, “Cookies for Santa.” Never had he seen a “Pancakes for Santa” dish.
No matter how much Jeff thought about it, he could not see how hot pancakes for Santa under the tree could work.
Everyone knows boys and girls must go to bed early on Christmas Eve. Everybody in the house must be asleep before Santa arrives. Absolutely nobody can be cooking pancakes when Santa comes down the chimney.
A very wise man, Mitchell devised a plan for Santa to be rewarded with both cookies and hot pancakes. Incidentally, according to Santa’s helper Tim, chocolate chip cookies are Santa’s favorite.
Unlike me, Jeff did have Santa’s telephone number so he gave him a call. Santa was very excited about Jeff’s plan. So were the members of Canton Rotary Club.
The plan has two parts. First, Santa was invited to come for breakfast on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Cherokee County Bridgemill Fire Station, 9550 Bells Ferry Road, Canton, Georgia, for pancakes, bacon, orange juice and coffee.
Santa accepted. As he knows, Canton Rotarians are great at making pancakes.
The second part of the plan is for us to do what we have always done on Christmas Eve. We will put out the “Cookies for Santa” plates, fill them with cookies and put them under the tree.
Santa having all those sweets might not be good for him. You will remember how Clement Clarke Moore described Santa. “… He was chubby and plump … He had a broad face and a round little belly that shook when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly…”
That being the case, we need to use artificial sweetener when we make cookies for him.
Santa does not like to eat alone. He wants lots of boys, girls, moms and dads to have breakfast with him at the Bridgemill Fire Station on that special Saturday, Dec. 1.
The cost is only $5 per person. Proceeds will go to MUST Ministries and Papa’s Pantry to feed the hungry in our county.
Be sure to bring a camera. You can take pictures of your children with Santa at no cost.
And congratulations to Canton Rotary President Jeff Mitchell for his wonderful plan to reward Santa for a job well done with both his favorites — cookies and pancakes.
Marguerite Cline is the former mayor of Waleska.