Santa, reindeer visit Cranberry Mall Children prefer stags to St. Nick

November 20, 1992|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

Dogs with antlers tied on their heads didn't fool 5-year-old Amanda Sauerwald for a minute.

"They aren't reindeer, Mom, they're dogs," said the disappointed little girl.

Even so, Santa took a back seat Wednesday at Cranberry Mall in Westminster, where children waiting in the chill November air asked repeatedly, "Where are the reindeer?"

Amanda Sauerwald liked the Akitas on Parade, dressed in coats with multicolored lights and jingling bells.

"That's the kind of dog my Dad wants," Amanda said. Still, she had come "all the way here from Baltimore" to see real reindeer.

"Don't worry, they're coming," her mother, Kim Sauerwald, assured her.

"She has been jumping all day. She is so excited."

Several hundred children watched the parking lot parade led by North Carroll High's Marching Band, playing familiar holiday tunes.

Garfield the cat waved from an antique Ford -- "just like my pop-pop's," said 3-year-old Trevor Felkner.

Jesters and jugglers mingled with the young crowd. One tossed a handful of juggling pins to Jennifer Mills, 7.

"I didn't know what to do," she said. "So, I tossed them back."

Minutes after that exchange, Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived in a sleigh pulled by four reindeer.

"Some animals looked like dogs with horns, but the ones pulling Santa's sleigh were the real thing," Matthew Muller, 8, said authoritatively as he shivered in the chill. "I wish I had a fur coat like Santa's. It's cold here."

While Trevor said he couldn't find Rudolph, he was sure the lead animal was Prancer.

"I have the 'Prancer' movie and I know," he said.

Many children, ready to discuss their Christmas wish lists, followed Santa into the mall and sipped complimentary hot chocolate from T. J. Cinnamon's.

Katie Hymiller, 7, scanned the aisles, hoping for a closer look at the reindeer. She decided the animals hadn't come indoors with Santa -- "probably too hot," she said.

"I saw Santa outside, but I can't find him in here," said Zachary Harrington, 3, who was more interested in the toys on display.

Josh Edmondson, 3, had better luck. "I shook his hand and he said, 'Ho, ho.' Now, I'm going back to tell him what I want."

Christina Humple, 7, took a more practical approach. She planned to come back when the crowd dispersed.

"I have a whole list, but I'll talk to him later," she said.

"There's no room here today."

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