Theatre Victoria brings Santa to Welder Center (Video)

Camille Doty

Dec. 17, 2011 at 6:17 a.m.
Updated Dec. 18, 2011 at 6:18 a.m.

Luke Valdivia, 2, feeds the gingerbread man a lollipop during the Santa at the Welder event. He later decorated the ornament with shiny buttons.

Luke Valdivia, 2, feeds the gingerbread man a lollipop during the Santa at the Welder event. He later decorated the ornament with shiny buttons.

Mackenzie Aguilar will be on Santa Claus' very-good girl list. Her mother said so.

The Aguilar family tradition is to open only one present on Christmas Eve.

"It's the best time ever," she said excitedly.

The 8-year-old DeLeon Elementary School student said Santa coming to her home was one of her favorite parts of the holidays.

Saturday afternoon, Mackenzie and other children had a chance to see St. Nick in a fine arts atmosphere.

Theatre Victoria hosted its first Santa at the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts.

"It's our Merry Christmas to the community," said Executive Director Staci Robbins.

Robbins had fond holiday memories with her five siblings in Richmond, Va., and wanted to create new ones for some of the youngest Crossroads residents.

The executive director also said the fun-filled day can remind adults about their childhood.

Participants were able to make ornaments, play games, eat mini gourmet cupcakes and take photos with Santa.

Those who attended also received a pass to attend the Children's Discovery Museum.

"I love Staci for including us," said Paige Gedvillas, the museum's interim director.

She also said she hopes the theatre and museum will do more collaborative projects in the future.

Gedvillas said she has seen almost a full house in the discovery space.

Luke Valdivia did his fair share of exploring the Welder Center games.

The 2-year-old's favorite seemed to be throwing the bean bags in the reindeer's feeding bowl. He was proud to make the shot.

"I really did it, Mom," Luke said to his mother, Lisa Valdivia.

Mackenzie mastered the toss and was determined to get a strike at the Christmas bowl.

"You almost made it," said her mother Tracy, while slapping a hi-five to her youngest daughter.

But almost wasn't sufficient for this focused third-grader. She bowled until she knocked down all the pins at one time.

"I won confidence," she said. That was Mackenzie's word to learn during a school ceremony.

"You did it!" said her delighted mother.

The weekend theater visit gave the mother-daughter duo a chance to bond and have a good time.

Aguilar, of Victoria, said she wanted to hear the excitement in her daughter's voice and keep her young at heart.

"Kids grow up too fast these days," Aguilar said, "They should be happy and joyful."

Aguilar, the mother of two, said Mackenzie is outgoing and creative.

She won second place at the University Interscholastic League for storytelling.

At some point, Mackenzie's mother would like her to explore the fine arts, so meeting theater members served as an added bonus.

Mackenzie was able to ask the wish maker for the Tinkerbell game for her Nintendo DS. Next weekend, she said she plans to leave him gingerbread and milk.

After her full day of activities Saturday, she couldn't keep the fun to herself.

While nodding she said, "I'm going to tell my friends about this."



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