It’s always a classic — that Santa and the happy, Christmas-anticipating kid photo that goes awry.
As if one classic 1960s snapshot of a Fair Haven kid perched on Santa’s lap wasn’t enough … Clearly it wasn’t.
Santa has begun making the rounds lately. He’s been seen in Rumson, Fair Haven, Red Bank and is slated to arrive in Sea Bright soon as well as many other towns. It’s that time of the year.
But, what you may not realize is that Santa has made many house calls in the past (and sometimes in the present, too). It’s pretty common knowledge that Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick has been known to not only hitch a ride on the Fair Haven fire truck to make a grand entrance at the annual tree lighting or appear at the firehouse for those classic photos with the kids, but he has also been sighted on the firetruck and stopping off at some kids’ houses.
That little tradition started way back when with a few visits to good little girls and boys about town. House calls.
In fact, in this photo from the 1960s, Santa popped in on the Connor kids of the longtime Connor family of Fair Haven.
Which kids are these Santa gawkers? And how about that Santa. There’s one longtime Fair Haven Fire Department Ladies’ Auxiliary member who says this is her favorite Santa? Why? Hmmmm … And who does this Mr. Claus resemble (or double as)?
Thanks to the Connor family for sharing this gem!
It’s a tradition. Every year, Rumsonites gather, socialize, listen to some music by the Deane-Porter Third Grade Chorus and Tim McLoone & The Shirleys, dance a little, drink a little hot cocoa, nibble on some homemade cookies and celebrate the start of the holiday season with the tree lighting at Victory Park.
The tradition continued on Sunday evening. Spirits were high and all seemed to have a festive time.
Take a look … (and don’t forget to CLICK to ENLARGE!)
— Elaine Van Develde
Friday night in Fair Haven was a night all about seasonal song, a little dancing, festivities, socializing and, of course, Santa. It was the night of the annual tree lighting.
What would the first weekend in December in the Rumson-Fair Haven area be without tree lightings and Santa visits?
It’s time again for the time-honored holiday tradition of the not-always-so-smooth Santa visit.
Remember being readied for that jolly trauma trip to the lap of that big fat man in a red suit who laughs really loud, has a beard that could be home to an entire family of birds and is about to tell you whether or not you’ve been nice enough to get presents?
Santa Claus came to Fair Haven on Friday night.
Hundreds of residents gathered to celebrate the seasonal kick-off at Memorial Park.
There was a December chill in the air, but spirits soaring and warm.
Take a glimpse into some highlights of the night … (Oh, and don’t forget to click on each photo to enlarge to full view!)
Cheers to the season!
— Elaine Van Develde
Santa Claus is coming to downtown Fair Haven tonight, and he’s gonna help light things up for the holiday season.
As it usually stands to reason for the season, families valiantly try to coordinate those classic photos for the ol’ memory album.
Though, it’s always fun to catch them trying to set up the pose with the typical snafus — cranky kids, losing a little balance and all saying “Cheese … and don’t drop the child!” for that camera at the same time, toothy grins intact.
So, the Retro Pic of the Day honors that time-honored moment of the pose set-up with a Fair Haven family at last year’s tree lighting.
Well, they still look pretty good … Cheese and Santa!
Haul out the holly. It’s time to light up the Rumson-Fair Haven area with holiday trees, Santa visits and festivities for all to kick off that time of the year.
It all starts on Friday evening …
Fair Haven’s annual tree lighting at Memorial Park, on the corner of River and Fair Haven roads, kicks the season off at 5 p.m. with a gathering, Santa’s traditional arrival via firetruck, a tree lighting at 6 p.m., song, fun and games for kids and a holiday stroll through the business district. There will be hot chocolate, treats, raffles and assorted surprises at each business for hometown holiday shopping pleasure. (Check the map.)
The event runs through 7:30 p.m.
And on Sunday …
Rumson’s annual tree lighting and festivities come to Victory Park starting at 5 p.m. with music by Tim McLoone and the Shirleys, the RFH Tower Singers and Deane-Porter’s third grade chorus.
There will be snacks and hot chocolate and, of course, Santa and the official lighting of the tree.
And over the bridge in Sea Bright …
The annual tree lighting will take place in the borough’s municipal parking lot by the beach at 6 p.m.
Following the tree lighting, Mrs. Claus will make an appearance across the street at the United Methodist Church to give out some gifts and refreshments to the kids.
Sometimes no matter how hard you try, that classic Santa pic with the kids just goes terribly awry.
The kids are either transfixed by the giant red-suited stranger with a giant white hillbilly beard, they run screaming (who wouldn’t?) or they just can’t contain their tears of fear.
Those who have managed to get the kids to sit on the plump masked stranger’s lap for that classic Christmas photo have ended up with another sort of classic — the picture of a miserable child all dressed up with nowhere to cry but on Saint Nick’s lap!
We know it seems a bit sadistic, but it is adorably funny to take a gander at these pics to get into that humorous holiday spirit. You really have to laugh a little at those trying days gone by of wrangling with the unreasonable notion of getting restless unwitting child to pose with a scary man who they know is going to invade their home one night soon, eat their cookies and leave.
It’s no wonder why kids cry at the sight of him. The smiles come with the thought of presents, though. It’s all priceless.
So, in the spirit of those expressions of holiday love and horror and all the pricelessness that comes with them, the Retro Pic of the Day all week will feature these little ones, knowing that it was all done for the love of Christmas and the old memory treasure chest.
This photo was sent by longtime Fair Havenite Evie Connor Kelly. It’s her two children, Bill and Mary Ellen at the Fair Haven Firehouse circa 1987.
Awwwww. Mary Ellen is fine now, folks, Evie assures us.
Send us your treasured “miserable child” with Santa pics. Smile. Santa’s on his way! Email your photos to email@example.com.