The Bridge City Public Library is one of the finest public facilities in the region. Since the devastation of Hurricane Ike the Library has rebounded back to become the jewel of the city.

The remodeled interior is open and seems more spacious with expanded stacks and new books. The computers are relocated and accessible. The children’s area is ready for use and comfortable.

The Lap Sit Program has also rebounded and is alive and well with an enrolment of 42 this year. Assistant Librarian Michelle Watson and Friends of the Library Ginger Tuttle meet in the Community Center each Wednesday to read to the preschool youngsters.

Wednesday, Dec. 16, was a special day for the participants. It was their Christmas party, including a special visitor.

The children were gathered in front of Watson and Tuttle and began the program with their usual song, then Watson read to them. After story time, they went back to the tables with their parents, or in some cases, grandparents, to color and do the other activities of the day.

At nearly noon the door behind the children opened and a large, white-haired, white bearded man in a red and white suit wearing black boots entered. His entrance was quiet and the children were busy, so he was at the table before they noticed him.

As the first child noticed him, the “OH Santa,” started to go around the tables. Santa Clause was in the building!

Santa, who strongly resembles Neil Clause, a Bridge City resident, made his way around the tables and visited with each child. There were some who were glad to see him and there were those who were a little shy about the big man in the red and white suit.

For 38 years this Santa has been visiting various civic groups and other places who need his services. Last year Santa visited with 1,400 children who came to the Community Center for a little Christmas cheer and uplifting after the strain of the hurricane.

After Santa met each of the children, he went to the small stage and took his place in a chair by the Christmas tree. A line formed and the “real business” started. Each child had the opportunity to give Santa their wishes and as they left his lap they were given a gift bag from Santa and the Bridge City Library.

Upon leaving Santa; the children and adults were served cookies, punch and other goodies.

The Lap Sit program has been in effect for a few years. Participation grows each year. For information on the program, you may call the Bridge City Public Library at 409-735-4242.

Library cards are available for any Orange County citizen. Visit the library at 101 Parkside Dr., near the youth baseball field