Tonawanda News — They wait for his arrival, lists in hand, wonder on their faces and visions of ... GPS units? ... dancing in their heads.
Here comes Santa Claus.
As Santa prepares for his annual visits to the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum starting Saturday, he spoke with the Tonawanda News about his time at the museum’s events, the challenges of the job and the sometimes hysterical things kids say — often when explaining their wish lists.
“It’s wild,” he said. “I’ve been asked for flatscreen TVs ... treadmills ... all the latest video games. One little girl asked me for a GPS. I asked her why. She said, ‘Because my family doesn’t go anywhere.’ How sad, right?
“Then I told her she had a pretty necklace and asked where she got it. She said, ‘Disney World!’ ”
While Santa does his best to assure kids that something will be waiting under the tree on Christmas morning, he noted that he can’t promise everything.
“I’ve been asked for animals, I’ve been asked for horses. Horses are a big one,” he said. “I tell them right up front, Santa does not deliver pets ... they would chew up all the presents, and then no one would get any presents. They have to think about that.”
Over his years at the museum, Santa’s seen and heard a lot. He’s had children visit him with Christmas lists that are actual scrolls, and bring him treats and crafts they’ve made. He’s been asked where his reindeer are (waiting for him in the woods down in Allegany State Park). He’s been on families’ Christmas cards and even in at least one wedding album.
He’s been forced to sneak off to the museum’s roundhouse to cool down, especially in 2011 when the temperature hit 71 degrees. (All that red velvet gets pretty warm when you’re not at the North Pole.)