Dec. 24, 2006
By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer
Santa Claus is not in high school anymore.
'So can we please stop spreading rumors?' Claus asked. 'If you want to know something, just ask.'
Regarding the issue of entering houses without chimneys, the toy maker from the North Pole wants to set the record straight, once and for all.
'I might fly around in a sleigh, and I might live with elves, but disappearing into thin air, that's ridiculous,' Claus scoffed. 'I don't shrink tinier than a needle, and I'm not in cahoots with Captain Kirk and Spock, so I don't get beamed up.'
Claus patted his belly. He was at Temple Mall one day earlier this month talking to a newspaper reporter.
'As we've already established, this belly is real,' Claus said. 'Even Jenny Craig hasn't found a way to make bellies disappear.'
For houses with chimneys that are too small and for houses with no chimney at all, Santa has a key.
'The key's magic, not me,' Claus said. 'For just one night, the key will fit into the keyhole of any door in Temple. Actually it will fit into any door I want it to.'
An elf, well skilled in locksmithing, manufactured the unique key. Where its magic comes from, though, must remain a mystery, Santa said.
'It's the same as birthday wishes,' Claus said. 'If you tell your wish, then it won't come true. If you blab the magic, it won't work.'
So getting into locked houses with no chimneys won't be an insurmountable obstacle for Santa this Christmas Eve.
One little girl who came to get her picture made with Santa was rather worried that he wouldn't be able to get into her house. Santa was able to calm her down, though, after he pointed to a large silver key hanging on his belt. He whispered the magic of the key into her hear, and the little girl said, 'Oooh. That's good then.'
Then there was 3-year-old Ashlyn Thompson who pointed out that her house does have a chimney.
'Well, in your case, I might come down the regular way,' Claus said, giving out a Ho Ho Ho.
Miss Thompson was dressed in a Christmas jump suit and a matching red bow.
Mom said the young girl was a little nervous since it had been more than a year since she had last seen Santa. But Miss Thompson was brave. With no tears and without a guiding hand from dad, she went and sat on on Santa's big red lap.
'I want a Ariel set and a Hungry Hungry Hippo,' Ashlyn told Santa. 'Maybe a Baby Alive.'
The little girl's eyes were fixed on the bearded man's face. She didn't even look up when the camera light flashed. But she did turn around when her baby sister, Avery, started to cry.
Barely a year old, Avery didn't want to let go of Daddy's neck. The little one was much too afraid to let Santa hold her. Though after the baby got used to Santa's voice, she did let Santa talk to her while she was safe in her father's arms.
Avery wore a twinkling set of lights that hung around her neck like a necklace. Santa told her they sure were pretty.
As the family turned to leave, Mommy said they would pray for Santa this Christmas Eve.
Santa thanked her and told her not to be worried.
'Rudolph knows the way' Claus said. 'It'll all be fine.'
Little Ashlyn spoke up once more and said 'It's so nice to meet you, Santa.' Then she hurried along to grab a hold of Mommy's hand.
I want, I want, I want
A long line of children had formed. They were all waiting to have their pictures made with Santa.
And they all said they had been real good, so could they please have their toys, please?
Mom said 21-month-old Connor Beeman wants a tricycle.
Four-month-old Emma Jez wants an exersaucer.
Cooper Allison, at 6 years old, is 3-year-old Caysen's big brother. Cooper says he wants two train sets because of the movie, 'Polar Express.' Mama tries to say that little brother wants a truck for Christmas, but shy Caysen suddenly pipes up, 'Nooooo. I want a greeeeeeeen truck.' And after about a minute, he added 'With batteries.'
Shane Waldrop was distracted by the shiny lights and ornaments of the Christmas tree. 'Treeeeeeeeeeee,' Shane said as he trotted off to go poke at it.
Telling the gift list then became the sole duty of big brother Cody Waldrop. He was 6.
'I want a skateboard, a swing set, a jeep, and a swing set and, I think, a jeep,' Cody said. 'And I want to share with my 1-year-old baby brother some crayons and paint and sharpened colored pens.'
Two-year-old Isaiah Alvarez surprised his mother when he shared his wish list.
'I ant a car, candy and guns,' Isaiah said. 'Yeah. Ant gun, cake, gun and candy. I been eeeel good. Sooper good.' Mom stepped in to say, 'Well, maybe not that good.' Then she laughed.
The last child the reporter saw talk to Santa was itsy bitsy Jonathon Vega. He was two weeks and one day old on Dec. 12. And while waving goodbye to the reporter, Mommy said the brand new baby was soaking in the sights and sounds of Christmas.