Scary-good fun: Jolly old elf spooks youngsters at Ft. Greene tree-lighting ceremony

All lit up: Fifteen-month-old Julian Russell showed his holiday spirit with a necklace of colorful lights at the Fort Greene tree-lighting ceremony on Sunday.
Photo by Caleb Caldwell

It was the fright before Christmas!

Fort Greeners descended upon their nabe’s namesake park on Dec. 3 for a tree-lighting ceremony where some youngsters wowed by the dazzling spectacle were less thrilled about encountering its guest of honor — who rode his sleigh from the North Pole to join locals at the bash — according to one mom.

“She was quite excited when they lit the tree up, not so keen on Santa,” Clinton Hill resident Tatiana Gott said of her 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter Fridha, whom she brought to the holiday celebration. “I asked her if she wanted to meet Santa and she said, ‘No mommy, no, no.’ She was a little scared.”

Another mother whose 15-month-old son paid his first visit to the jolly old elf at the festivities near Myrtle Avenue and Washington Park described that meeting as slightly more successful.

“It wasn’t a complete disaster — he was slightly scared, but he wasn’t like freaking out,” said Clinton Hill local Jennifer Sgobbo of her tyke Julian Russell. “It was his first time sitting on Santa’s lap.”

Kids spooked by Saint Nick lifted their spirits by munching on cookies, sipping on hot cocoa, and listening to a neighborhood choir perform classic yuletide melodies at the fourth-annual party.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.

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