More than 100 children sat on Santa’s knee Friday night when St. George Island welcomed Christmas with the annual lighting of the palms.

It was a festive occasion beginning with the Jingle Jog (See sports) and segueing into an evening of treats and tradition for the little ones.

Santa’s elf, Mason Bean, helped make the occasion special with a brand-new nativity scene facing the lighthouse at island center.

This year, the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce, which has taken over operation of the island visitor center, helped organize the holiday celebration in partnership with the St. George Island Business Association.

Santa greeted the kiddies on the visitor center porch and the Franklin Toy Project provided a gift bag for each child.

Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce Director John Solomon prepared hot dogs which were distributed to Santa’s guests for free in addition to the cookies and brownies provided by the St. George Island Business Association.

Another new twist was a booth where Santa’s fans could paint keepsake oyster shells.

Also on hand with a generous gift were the Dinner Divas who presented each child under the age of 12 with an age-appropriate book on behalf of Bring Me A Book Franklin.