Archive for Thursday, December 6, 2001

Secret Santa Shop lets students buy gifts on a budget fit for a kid

December 6, 2001

Joining the ranks of the numerous holiday shoppers can be difficult for those who can't drive to the nearest mall because their legs wouldn't reach the pedals and whose ATM is a piggy bank.

That's why the Eudora Parent-Teacher Organization is bringing the Secret Santa Shop to Nottingham Elementary School this week.

"It's set up so that children can come in and purchase reasonably priced gifts for everyone in the family, including pets," said PTO Co-president Shari Turnbaugh.

The makeshift store will offer low-price items like key chains, coffee mugs and porcelain figurines.

"They're little things the kids can purchase and feel like they're doing their part for Christmas," Turnbaugh said. "We wanted to make it reasonable so kids don't feel left out."

For a family of five, she said $5 should be sufficient. If parents want to send checks, they can make them out to Eudora PTO.

"We have volunteers that will help the younger ones chose which items they can chose in their price range," Turnbaugh said.

The idea for the shop came from the same company that runs the school carnivals, and Turnbaugh said the idea has been used across the country.

Although some schools use the shop as a fund-raiser by selling items 20 percent over cost, Turnbaugh said the Santa Shop was more of a thank-you to the children and parents.

Moving items back and forth between Eudora's two elementary schools would have been too much of a hassle, Turnbaugh said, but Eudora West students, preschool students and anyone else will have opportunities to shop, too.

The shop will be open Thursday and Friday during the day for Nottingham students only. Others are welcome Friday from 3:30 to 6 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Friday and Saturday while students are playing Santa the adults can keep busy shopping for candles and other decorative accessories in a nearby room.

Next year, Turnbaugh said, the PTO would like to have a breakfast with Santa event organized.

"If it works out we'll have Santa up there and pancakes and the kids can have their picture taken with Santa," she said.

The Eudora Jaycees hoped to have a breakfast with Santa event this year, but another pancake feed put the idea on hold.

The Jaycees Christmas tree lighting at CPA Park will be at 7 p.m. Saturday. The Jaycees are asking visitors to bring non-perishable food items for their Adopt-A-Family project.

Another Eudora tradition will keep the Christmas spirit going throughout the weekend. Sunday, Holy Family Catholic Church will have its community-wide caroling at the old Holy Family Catholic Church at Ninth and Church streets. Food items for the Ministerial Alliance food pantry are requested.

A newer tradition, the Light Up Eudora Contest, will continue thanks to the Eudora Chamber of Commerce. The contest offers $25 to $100 to homes with the best holiday light displays. Decorators need to register by 5 p.m. Dec. 14 at area merchants or at Eudora City Hall and have their lights turned on between 6 and 10 p.m. Dec. 15 and 16 for judging.

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