By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterDecember 14, 2017
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Santa is making his list and checking it twice, but Fort Rucker children had an extra opportunity to get in good standing with the jolly man in red.
The Landing hosted its annual Breakfast with Santa Dec. 9 where families were able to enjoy a hearty meal and meet Jolly Old Saint Nick.
Families were treated to a buffet-style breakfast, complete with eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, grits, hash browns, fruit, pastries and more, and then were invited to take photos and spend some time with Santa.
"Breakfast with Santa brings the family together with other families from the military community, and (it) starts up the (holiday season) with great food," said Tim Carter, Directorate of Morale, Welfare and Recreation food and beverage program manager.
Children were on their best behavior as they asked Santa to fill their Christmas wish list, and for many family members, the day was a treat they wouldn't soon forget.
Megan Smith, military spouse, came out with her children, Dana and Kaylee, and said her children couldn't have been more excited to meet the big man in red.
"It's all they talked about all morning," she said. "I love that they're so into the spirit of the season, and this is just the icing on the cake for them.
"We get to see Santa throughout the (season) and it really gets them excited, and when they're excited I'm excited, too," Smith continued. "It also doesn't hurt that it gives them some incentive to be good."
For Harriet and Jason Darlene, civilians, the event was just another excuse to be able to spend time together -- something they said is a must.
"I think it's important to be able to share memories with your children and your whole family, especially when the kids are young because I think that helps to build a stable foundation for them," said Harriet. "It's because of great memories as a kid that I want to be able to create these kinds of memories for my kids, and what better way to do it than by bringing them out to see Santa?"
Following the meeting with the man in red, children were able to pick out a toy of their own to take home with them, and for many of the children, the decision was a tough one.
"I feel like that was the hardest thing for Kaylee to do -- pick out one toy out of the whole basket -- but I know she's just happy that she was able to ask Santa in person for all the things she really wants, so she's happy either way," said Smith.
Being able to create those memories and special times is exactly what events like Breakfast with Santa are meant to do -- show support for the families in the community, said Janice Erdlitz, DFMWR marketing director.
"It's a wonderful opportunity to show your support for Fort Rucker and (DFMWR) programs," she said. "We know we have a diverse community and we always want to offer something everyone can enjoy."