By Staff Sgt. David OversonDecember 11, 2017
HOHENFELS, Germany -- Most children anxiously await the arrival of Santa on Christmas Eve. However, for the boys and girls living on or near the U.S. Army's Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, Christmas came early. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived aboard a fire truck to help light the Joint Multinational Readiness Center's community Christmas tree Dec. 8, 2017.
Santa also brought the proverbial, and literal "white Christmas" with him. It started heavily snowing while everyone awaited his arrival. Nevertheless, those in attendance waited with giant smiles and bated breath.
Hohenfels Fire Chief, Stoeckl Guenter, was more than happy to assist getting Santa and Mrs. Claus to the tree lighting ceremony.
"We received a call earlier in the afternoon by Santa," said Guenter. "He was worried that he might be late and wanted to see if we could give him a ride. Obviously when Santa calls, you pick up the phone and do anything you can to help."
Santa and Mrs. Claus were more than happy to help kick start the community's holiday season.
"When I heard the Joint Multinational Readiness Center was having a tree lighting ceremony, I just knew I had to be here," said Santa. "Mrs. Claus and I love spending time with U.S. Army Soldiers and their families. It's also important to point out, that a true Army community also has civilian employees equally dedicated to the Army mission. Here in Hohenfels, I really see the Christmas spirit all around me."
Though Santa was the star of the evening, there was plenty of other fun being enjoyed all around. A train was lighting smiles on all the smaller children's faces as they rode until their hearts were content. The local Boy Scout troop, Troop 303, was selling Christmas trees, the local PTA group was in attendance and various vendors were selling hot chocolate, gluhwein, s'mores and other holiday goodies.
The Hohenfels Middle School/High School's Choir entertained the crowd with wonderful seasonal songs, and one could see the tight community in full effect.
Mrs. Claus, adorned in her Christmas regalia, might have been nearly as popular as Santa was.
"I don't get to travel with Kris on Christmas Eve," said Mrs. Claus. "So every time there's an opportunity like this I really enjoy tagging along. I just love visiting with all the happy children, and this community certainly has a lot of them."
"As far as tree lighting ceremonies go, Hohenfels and the Joint Multinational Readiness Center did one heck of a job," added Santa. "I'm not sure if I'll see one better anywhere else this year. I'm just so proud of this community."
Santa wanted everyone to know that though he arrived early in Hohenfels, Germany for this tree lighting ceremony, his regular deliveries will be on time.