Santa Claus reveals what children fancy

Posted Dec. 12, 2008, at 7:18 p.m.

What children want to find under the Christmas tree Dec. 25 hasn’t really changed over the years for those under age 5, Santa Claus said this week while visiting the Bangor area.

“The girls mostly want dolls, and the boys mostly want trucks,” he said after visiting with children enrolled in the Head Start preschool program in Brewer. “Their typical wish was for traditional stuff.”

After listening to children’s Christmas wishes for hundreds of years, Santa is a well-known expert on what children want.

When old Saint Nick entered the Brewer Auditorium to visit with the 4- and 5-year-olds, the children flocked to his side and made a human tide that barely rose to his thick black belt.

As expected, he was wearing his red-and-white fur-trimmed suit, and his white beard bounced as he made his way to the front of the room, where a chair awaited. His eyes gleamed and sparkled through his spectacles as he looked down on the children, who could barely hold back their excitement.

The Bangor Daily News caught up with Santa on Wednesday in Brewer and ran into him on Thursday in Bangor.

While younger children are asking for traditional items, those a little bit older have grander requests, Father Christmas said while visiting with children at the Bangor Mall.

Game stations and video games are popular, he said, the smell of peppermint in the air. “Biscuit the [toy] dog is another big request.”

Santa makes time right before Christmas to visit children all over the world, and he said Maine children also like “outside stuff, such as sleds, bikes, skates” and skateboards, skis and snowboards.

Bangor resident Nicholas, 8, said he has an acoustic guitar but wants an electric guitar with an amplifier so he “can wake everybody up in the morning.”

His sister Sophie, 6, said she wants a DS, which is a hand-held video game, with a pink Hannah Montana covering. She said she wrote Santa a practice letter at school and still has to finish it.

Maddie, 3, of Bangor simply said she wanted “Ming-Ming.” She was one of the hundreds of thousands of children who send their Christmas wishes to Santa each December, through the U.S. Postal Service.

All children know that Saint Nicholas uses a chimney to get into homes to drop off presents, but what does he do when there is no chimney? Sophie, who lives in a home without a fireplace, has a theory that “he flies to the ground and he gets through the door with a paper clip.”

Other children from the area have different opinions. Colby, 4, of Brewer said, “no one knows” for sure. “He can’t fit in the door — he’s too fat. He may have to cut a hole.”

Emma, 4, of Brewer said, “I don’t know” how Kriss Kringle gets in, but her twin brother, Ethan, said “through the door,” a sentiment others echoed. Brooklyn, 4, also of Brewer, had a slightly modified answer. She said, “The back door.”

Ava, 4, another Brewer resident, said he enters “down the chimney, but we don’t have a chimney. We just have a door.”

To answer the question, Santa at the Bangor Mall reached into a green leather shoulder bag, adorned with silver bells, and pulled out a large, antique-looking golden key.

“I can tap on their door [with the golden key] on Christmas night and it will open because of the specialness of Christmas,” he said. “It’s the same reason the reindeer only fly on Christmas.”

It’s this specialness, sometimes called the “magic of the holidays,” that also “opens people’s hearts,” Santa added.

Old Saint Nick said he also has a wish.

“I want for everyone to have a safe and merry Christmas, and a happy new year,” he said, with a twinkle in his eye.

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