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December 20, 2012

‘Cookies With Santa’ bakes up sweet memories

By Maria Allard
C & G Staff Writer

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‘Cookies With Santa’ bakes up sweet memories
Six-year-old Makayla Jiles, of Center Line, left, and her cousin Elise Swarthout, 5, of Madison Heights, get into the Christmas spirit of “Cookies With Santa” at Crothers Elementary School.

WARREN — With his shiny black boots, fluffy white beard and friendly, “Ho, ho, ho!” Santa Claus warmed the hearts of the approximately 175 children who sat on his lap during the annual “Cookies With Santa” at Crothers Elementary School the evening of Dec. 6.

Sharing their wish lists with the jolly one was among the many activities the students participated in during the event the Parent Teacher Committee sponsored. Crothers is part of Center Line Public Schools.

“Cookies With Santa” has become an annual tradition that began about four years ago. It’s known to bring out the Christmas spirit in all who attend, offering arts and crafts, Santa and cookies. Families of the school are invited, and many staff members also bring their own families.

PTC President Marilyn Rolfe and Treasurer Laura Boisvenue made 624 cookies earlier in the day inside the school’s kitchen. It took the pair two hours; they were able to make about 20 dozen at a time.

Oatmeal raisin, chocolate chunk, sugar, Snickerdoodle, triple chocolate and M&M cookies satisfied everyone’s sweet tooth. The craft area, set up down one hallway, somewhat resembled Santa’s toyshop, where attendees put their artistic talents to use. The art room became an artist’s studio, as kids made homemade Christmas cards. 

Rolfe said the PTC — which includes Vice President Julie Copeland and Secretary Grace Schmidtke — sold cookie dough to help pay for the evening’s festivities.

“We had a wonderful turnout, even bigger than last year,” Principal Janis Byrn said. “Our PTC is phenomenal. They coordinated everything. They put in a lot of work, and the rest of us just enjoy it.”

Parent Caron Ahmed attended the event with her husband and three children — fifth-grader Ethan, third-grader Tyler and 4-year-old Gabriella.

“I think it’s a positive thing Crothers does. It’s really nice,” Ahmed said. “It kind of brings the school together. They have all the arts and crafts kids can work on. It gives them the opportunity to see Santa.”

“There are a lot of crafts. We have cookies,” Ethan said. “This is probably one of the biggest turnouts we had.”

“It’s good because people are having fun and having activities to do and bringing all the people to see Santa,” Tyler said. His favorite part was “going up and seeing Santa.” LEGOs are what Tyler wants for Christmas this year, and he said he’s “been good.”

“Both got straight A’s,” his dad said, smiling.

Third-graders Justin Boisvenue and Jenna Copeland also showed their school spirit. They sold pencils that smell, called Smencils. Money raised will help fund a field trip.

“We’ve been selling them for a month,” Boisvenue said. “There are 12 smells. We sold a whole bin. They are one dollar.”

In a reindeer shirt, red-and-green nails that strategically read Santa Claus and a hairpiece constructed of white and green feathers and red balls, Copeland looked ready for the holidays.

“I like that Santa Claus is here,” she said.

There was another reason she enjoyed “Cookies With Santa.”

“It’s mostly about coming to school at night, so I don’t have to go to bed.”

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Maria Allard at allard@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1045.