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Tradition with staying power
Times photo: Brenda Steurer Fifth-graders Stacy Miceli, from left, Katie Miller, Clare Michaela Hughes, and Carly Upmann prepare for their elf roles at the 30th annual Brunch with Santa at St. Victor School Dec. 12.
MONROE - Brunch with Santa at St. Victor School celebrates its 30th year Dec. 12.

"Some traditions come and go, but this one never wavered," Principal Joe Peters said. "It's a powerful Christmas tradition."

What began as a school event grew into a celebration for the entire community. About 300 guests are expected to attend the brunch, which takes place in the school's gymnasium.

Children and their parents get to eat a meal, play games, make crafts and listen to a story read by Mrs. Claus. The highlight is the visit from Santa Claus. The kids can sit on his lap and tell him what they want for Christmas.

It's one of the most popular events of the Christmas season, Peters said.

"We begin getting calls in early November from people who want to know when Brunch with Santa will be," Peters said.

For fifth-grade students, the day also is a rite of passage of sorts.

They get to be Santa's elves for a day, parade through the gym with him, hand out food and help other kids play games.

Clare Michaela Hughes watched as her older siblings took part in the celebration and said she couldn't wait until she was old enough to be an elf.

"I've wanted to be an elf since I was in kindergarten," she said with a smile.

The 12 fifth-grade students at the school will dress as elves and spend the morning doing all they can to help other children have a good time.

When Peters asked them what about being an elf they looked forward to, the fifth-graders yelled out a variety of answers.

"Playing games."

"Being an elf for a day."

"Wearing the tights."


There will be Brunch with Santa sessions at 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 12. Tickets are available at Kidz Kloset, Ruf's Confectionery, First National Bank and Wisconsin Community Bank. Tickets are $7 per person.

There also is a silent auction and a raffle. Raffle tickets can be purchased separately and are available at the school.