Sunday, December 24, 2006

She's a child at heart come Christmas

Dec. 24, 2006
By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

Some people never outgrow Santa Claus.
That's the toy maker's hope for every one of us.
Edith Wolffberg of Killeen is a 102-year-old woman who did Santa proud. Mrs. Wolffberg says she still believes in Santa. In her long life, she said she's never seen a reason not to believe.
'Edith and I just sit and visit. She's real sweet,' Claus said. 'We don't talk about anything in particular. She doesn't really have a wish list like the kiddos. She just likes talking to Santa.'

Mrs. Wolffberg took her picture with Santa this month at Temple Mall. This marks the fourth consecutive year for her to do so.
'We make that drive every winter, solely to see Santa,' said granddaughter Shirley Glen Bishop, referring to the distance between their Killeen home and Temple Mall. 'Santa always remembers her and never makes her wait in line. He's so sweet and kind.'
And Santa said he adores Mrs. Wolffberg.
'Edith is is one of my favorite repeaters,' Claus said. 'I love talking to my older visitors. It's a privilege to talk with someone who's lived so long. They have very strong spirits.'
For Santa Claus, talking with a person like Edith is like a dance through time.
'She's seen so much, learned so much,' Claus said. 'And I love to listen to her. She takes me back.'
A native of Germany, Mrs. Wolffberg was born Jewish but baptized in a Lutheran Church, so Santa Claus was no stranger in her childhood.
When Hitler came to power in the early 1940s, Mrs. Wolffberg had to flee her home country.
'All the years she lived in Bolivia, South America, she missed seeing Santa,' said daughter Helga Hoffner. 'Nowadays, she says Santa makes her feel like a little girl again. Happy.'

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