Columnists

One more chance to give Santa a wish list

Santa Claus — in his wire-rim eyeglasses, big red suit and beard as white as the snow — takes his seat in the Hamilton County Historical Society’s Santa House on the Courthouse Square.

He invites children to sit on his lap or sit next to him. He asks for their wish lists for Christmas. And he responds to their curiosity about his reindeers, favorite cookies and his elves’ workshop.

Children of all ages who still want to visit Santa and to share their wish lists only have one more chance, as it’s almost Christmas Eve.

Santa will greet visitors for the last time of the season in the Santa House from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday before he heads back to the North Pole.

I had the opportunity to visit with Saint Nick last Sunday on the downtown Square in between his many visitors.

“All of the kids are wonderful,” he said.

Even the crying babies? Yes, even the crying babies.

Santa has seen visitors from as young as 1 month up to 90-year-olds. “Grandmas are the best,” he said.

He’s seen babies in elf costumes, all ages in ugly sweaters and all kinds of Santa hats.

So what do kids want for Christmas this year? “A lot of retro toys,” Santa said. “A lot of girls are asking for Barbie,” he said. L.O.L. dolls are popular.  “Legos is probably the biggest item on most of their lists this year for both boys and girls,” Santa said.

The boys, ages 5-7, are asking for Tonka trucks and Hot Wheels, and the teenagers want cell phones and games.

“Get to be 40 years old, they want ‘happiness and peace.’”

Santa said visitors who came to see him seem to be “much happier this year,” compared to last year, during the continuing pandemic. Some visitors wear masks, although masks aren’t required. Santa isn’t required to wear a mask. “I have all of my shots,” said the jolly ol’ elf.

What’s the most asked question from kids? “What kind of cookies do I like,” Santa said. “Who’s my favorite reindeer?” “Where’s Mrs. Claus?” “Where are the reindeer right now?”

Santa usually asks the kids’ favorite cookies, which are often his favorite. “Chocolate chip seems to be the top one.”

Some kids say that they leave a glass of milk for Santa and carrots for Santa’s reindeer.

And some ask how many elves work in Santa’s workshop.

He encourages children to love their moms and dads.

“We have introduced Santa this year for the first time,” said Amelia Roberts of Noblesville, who with her husband, Travis, brought their 2-½-year-old daughter, Anna, to see Santa. “She did well,” the mom said.

While Anna said she wanted “chocolate” and “lollipops,” and enjoyed her free candy cane, her list actually included “baby dolls” and “stuffed animals,” her mom said.

Abigail Phillips, 6, a first-grader at North Elementary, asked Santa for a Pixie fairy and a unicorn with wings. Then she asked Santa a few questions. “How many reindeer do you have?” she asked.

Santa replied, “I have eight plus Rudolph.”

“How many elves do you have?”

“Oh boy, last count there were 2,313, but we just had a new one born,”

Santa said.

Miles Russell, 14 months, the son of Tony and Megan Russell, made his first visit to Santa, and was a little squirmy, and he wasn’t very happy, as was told by his face.

One of the adult visitors was Kimberly Davis, 40, Noblesville, who said she stopped in, “Because I love Santa Claus; he’s the best.” Her cats are her kids, and she talked about her cats with Santa.

What are more questions that Santa answered?

What does Santa eat? “Whatever Mrs. Claus fixes.”

Does Santa watch his weight? “Santa never watches his weight.”

Santa’s favorite movie? “Miracle on 34th Street.”

What else?

The Historical Society does a great job of sponsoring the Santa House, which was built many years ago by the late Don Roberts, a former aviation teacher at Noblesville High School. Hamilton County buildings and grounds superintendent Steve Wood and his staff in 2018 did repairs on the house and provided an ADA-compliant ramp, made by Noblesville’s Carl Abbott, for the community.

Remember, last time to see Santa will be in the afternoon on Christmas Eve.

-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.