Santa makes area stops on pre-Christmas tour
JANESVILLE Santa made several stops in southern Wisconsin on Sunday.
In the morning, he was at the Elks Club, 2100 North Washington St., Janesville, for "Breakfast with Santa."
In the evening, he was at The Gathering Place, 715 Campus St., Milton, for "Hot dogs with Santa."
In both places, Santa stayed strictly on message, espousing good cheer and a merry Christmas for everyone. Pundits believe that Sunday's efforts will further solidify Santa's popularity with pretty much everyone—except for crying babies.
Between chats with his constituents, Santa talked to The Gazette about the upcoming holiday season.
Q: Where is the snow?
A: "At the North Pole," said Terry Mullen, Santa's spokesman at the Elks Club. "I'd like to see some snow soon. It makes the sleigh fly better."
Tom Sveum, Santa's spokesman in Milton, predicted snow later in the month.
Q: You've met with a lot of your constituents today. It seems like they fall into two groups, the frightened and those who can't stop talking.
A: "They really fall into three categories," Sveum said, speaking for Santa. "Those who are afraid and say nothing; those who are afraid and say very little; and those who, well, keep talking—sometimes just random rambling."
Often kids are convinced that he can make everything all right.
Marley Crouse, 2, of Milton wasn't afraid of Santa. She ran through the library of the Gathering Place straight into Santa's arms.
Once on his lap, she touched his beard and remarked, "You're really hairy."
Marley, who clearly loves Santa and believes in his magic, requested a "Cinderella dress" and "high heels."
Q: What do you do when kids ask you for something you can't give, such as a pony?
A: "I tell them that ponies are something my elves can't make, and they'll have to talk to their mom or dad about that," said Mullen, speaking for Santa.
It works the other way, too.
Tayler Harbison, 7, of Janesville told her mother that she wanted "boots with high heels."
"I told her that she'd have to ask Santa because I wasn't going to buy her those," said her mother, Emily Harbison.
Tayler's brother, Alex Harbison, asked Santa for a camouflage truck with a boat.
Q: What are kids asking for this year?
A: "Barbies, iPods—and a lot of stuff I've never heard of," said Mullen for Santa.
Sveum said Santa had the same experience in Milton—a mix of old favorites and newfangled. American Girl dolls, Barbies, cars and trucks vied with Wii games and other electronics.
Q: Is a list helpful?
A: "Yes, and sometimes they're very long," said Sveum for Santa.
Several children left their lists with the great man. One list contained "Big boots" and "a Mario Cart Racetrack"
Isaac Cole, 8, Milton, presented Santa with his second list—this one contained the books he wants. In November alone, Cole read for more than 700 minutes. He likes the "Wolves of the Beyond" series.
"I read the first one, and the second one is supposed to be good, too," he told Santa.
Then he and Santa had a laugh about Garfield's fat belly.
Q: Children often reveal things about their parents. Can you share any of those funny stories?
A: "What's said to Santa, stays with Santa," said Sveum for Santa.
Q: What's the most unusual request you've had?
A: "One child asked for a bell from my sleigh," said Sveum. "And another little girl—her father is in the military—said she wanted her daddy to come home."