KEARNEY — The historic Mt. Gilead School received a bit of a transformation from the one-room schoolhouse to a makeshift stop for Santa and Mrs. Claus Nov. 23.

Instead of a teacher at the desk, Santa sat down with an extra stocking cap hanging from the edge. Rather than handing out homework, Santa handed out candy canes after hearing some of the children's desires for Christmas.

For Valerie Schneider, handing her almost 7-week-old daughter Mila to Santa fulfilled the request her now 5-year-old son Atticus asked.

“Last year, Atticus asked Santa for a baby sister,” she said, smiling. “He got his wish. He wanted to tell Santa thank you.”

Atticus shared a couple of his wishes for Christmas presents with Santa, but made sure to ask Santa for an Elmo and a baby doll for his little sister.

While the schoolhouse became the site for crafts, the old church, located a few steps away, elicited memories for Sara and Trevor Arnold.

The couple celebrated five years of marriage Nov. 22. They were married at the church.

“Now it has become a family tradition,” Sara said. “Our family has grown over the past few years. We call it our Mt. Gilead Day.”

Southeast Editor Kellie Houx can be reached at kellie.houx@mycouriertribune.com or 389-6630.

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