JULIA NAGY | The Natchez Democrat — John Carlton plays with his 4-year-old daughter Caroline on Christmas morning at a relative’s house on Washington Street.

Children pull all-nighter in anticipation of Santa Claus

Published 12:03am Wednesday, December 26, 2012


NATCHEZ — While Santa was tiptoeing around Christmas Eve in their living room, the three Stewart girls were wide awake in a bedroom upstairs, staring at the ceiling.

JULIA NAGY | The Natchez Democrat — Six-year-old Sarah Grace Stewart draws in her new notebook on Christmas morning at the family’s home.

I stayed up all night,” 12-year-old Emily Stewart said. “I couldn’t go to sleep.”

Before trying to go to bed, the Stewart girls laid out lemonade and cookies for Santa and when they rushed down the stairs at 7 a.m. tons of presents were under the tree.

Six-year-old Sarah Grace ran down the stairs first and saw a giant stuffed St. Bernard.

“Her eyes lit up,” her 15-year-old sister Allie said. “She had a long Christmas list she sent to Santa.”

“No I didn’t,” Sarah Grace said.

“Over 20 things on your list? Oh yes you did,” Allie replied.

TVs, stuffed animals, craft supplies and candy were among the girls’ gifts.

“We all just like to be together,” Emily said. “It’s fun.”

Families around the area enjoyed their Christmas holiday, spending time with one another and opening presents.

John Carlton said he loves seeing the smile on his children’s faces.

“There’s no greater sense of satisfaction than seeing your kids light up for Christmas,” Carlton said. “It’s all about family.”

The Carltons gave their children three gifts each representing the three gifts wise men brought to baby Jesus.

Four-year-old Caroline Carlton was ecstatic when she received her Hello Kitty tea party set.

She twirled around the living room at a relative’s house in Natchez, in her pink tutu and ballet slippers and stopped at a karaoke set she had gotten for Christmas.

It was time to make up a song about flowers and rainbows.

“I wanted that and that and all of that,” Caroline said about her Christmas. “I love everything.”

For Chesney Doyle, seeing her 4-year-old twins Alston and Archer overjoyed meant the world to her.

Alston got a Barbie and clothes, while Archer got a Polar Express train and a toy bow and arrow set.

“When your children are happy, it always makes you feel good,” Doyle said. “They were down the stairs before we could get there.”