Senior Center Plays Host to an 11-year Tradition 

Santa makes an early appearance in Abington

Abington residents and Senior Center volunteers Kathryn Sage author of this article) and Cameron Ranous stand with Frank Burke, or Santa Claus, at the Abington Senior Center, photographed on December 14, 2019

This Saturday, December 14, the Abington Senior Center hosted their 11th Breakfast with Santa. Thevent has a large turnout every year, and this year was no different.  

Breakfast with Santa was started 11 years ago. Diane Keith began this tradition. “I thought it would be nice to have an event in which children, parents, and grandchildren could all get together and enjoy,” Keith said.

At this annual event, breakfast is served to all the guests. Lots of food is offered, from eggs and sausage to a variety of pastries. It comes at a low cost of only $5 to participants.

About halfway through the breakfast, Santa comes out to join everyone.  Attendees can get their picture taken with Santa and a group of his elves. This is included in the $5 admission price.

Every town I’ve been to has had nice kids, but Abington kids are extra special.

— Frank Burke

Frank Burke, who plays Santa, has been attending the breakfast for five years. Burke says he keeps coming back because he “loves seeing the kids and raising money for the Senior Center.” He also enjoys coming to Abington. “Every town I’ve been to has had nice kids, but Abington kids are extra special,” Burke said.   

Besides the breakfast, children had the opportunity to shop for Christmas gifts for their family. For $1 a person, one of Santa’s elves took the children through the gift room to pick out presents for their loved ones. The gifts were then specially wrapped for them.

The gift room was started by Abington residents Sheila Lambert and Karen Tracey in 2015. It has been very popular since. 

There was fun for the adults too. With a variety of raffles, ranging from holiday gift baskets to gift cards to local places, there was something for everyone.  

When asked what the motivation was to continue Breakfast with Santa every year, Keith said, “I love doing it. It’s something everyone looks forward to. I love seeing the kids’ faces when they see Santa.”

To continue making this event a success, the Senior Center will begin collecting items next fall. Keith said that the Senior Center is “always looking for new or gently used donations for the gift room.”

The annual event was part of the Abington Celebrates Christmas weekend activities.

For those still feeling the Christmas spirit this weekend, Abington Celebrates annual Christmas weekend continues tomorrow, Sunday Dec. 15, at the United Church of Christ on Bedford Street with a free Candlelight Christmas Concert from 4 to 5 p.m.