MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- The Officers' Spouses Club will hold a free Children's Christmas party for all military and base employees' families Saturday at the Child Development Center from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Last year, more than 200 children attended the event.
The bash is open to families and children of all ages. Several activities have been planned to keep the children's interest for the entire two hours of festivities.
Upon arrival, the children will be given name tags and the parents will have the opportunity to choose which of five rooms they want their children to visit first.
One room of the CDC will be designated as the cookie cutting room, where children can decorate home-made cookies with various edible treats. Several members of the OCS bake the cookies for the event each year. One club member cooked more than 400 cookies the night before, said Mindi Lucas, OCS vice president.
If parents aren't ready to give their children a sugar rush upon arrival, they can take their children to the ornament room where children can create a memory to hang on the tree for years to come.
Also, after arriving on a fire truck at 11 a.m., Santa Clause, the universal bearer of Christmas presents, will be on hand to listen to the children's wish lists and to pose for photos with them.
A Santa's Store will be available for the children buy gifts for their parents and grandparents.
Ideally, they will leave their parents at the door and commence in finding the perfect gift for parents and caregivers. All the gifts in the room will cost 75 cents. Once the children choose a present, volunteers will be on hand to gift-wrap them.
"That way the children will have a wrapped gift for their mom or dad or grandparent under the tree that they were able to pick out all by themselves," said Lucas.
All the gifts in the store were either donated by a local Albany business or individual, or bought with funds that were donated by an Albany business or individual because the OSC is a non-profit organization.
While the children are off shopping, parents can relax in the snack room where juice, coffee and other refreshments will be served.
If the little ones get worn out trudging through the shop, they can join their parents and share snacks while listening to a storyteller tell age-old Christmas tales. Laura Bowser, a pre-kindergarten teacher, will tell stories of tradition, family and all around goodwill toward men.
According to Lucas, the CDC was the perfect place to hold the annual Christmas Party because the facility was created specifically for children.
Lucas said she expects as many and possibly more children than last year to attend. It will be a great opportunity for families to spend some time with one another and allow their children to participate in Yule-time activities.
"Everyone had such a great time last year," she said, adding that this year should be equally enjoyable.