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Area kids eat milk and cookies with Santa, get gifts from sponsors
Emily Puckett, 6, discusses her Christmas wishes with Santa Claus on Monday at the Family Worship Center in Oakwood. - photo by Kristen Oliver

The Family Worship Center in Oakwood wants children and adults to remember what Christmas is all about.

The center hosted more than 40 children Monday for milk and cookies with Santa Claus and a gift exchange with holiday sponsors.

Taylor Riley, event coordinator, said the center took applications this fall for children through the Spirit of Joy Food Pantry at the church. Monday, both children and their sponsors were invited to the center for pictures with Santa, milk, cookies, hot chocolate and a gift exchange.

“We wanted our sponsors to be able to be here,” Riley said. “When you sponsor a kid, you sometimes don’t see what it’s going toward or if they really get the gifts.”

The center also had all the children write thank-you letters to their sponsors, who purchased gifts including books, games, clothing and bicycles.

Riley said the center wanted the children to write the letters and interact with their sponsors as a reminder that Christmas is not just about receiving; it’s about giving, too.

“We’re just having a great time,” Riley said. “With Christmas just a few days away, it’s just about remembering and celebrating what it’s all about.”