Santa alive and well at Provo Towne Centre

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    By AMBER STAHR

    Do you remember when your parents finally told you that Santa Claus didn’t really exist?

    You were upset at first, but you finally understood that it was really Mom and Dad who put the presents under the tree, not jolly old St. Nick.

    Well that story about Santa Claus not existing, wasn’t entirely true.

    You see, Santa Claus really does exist. He is here in town at Provo Towne Centre until Christmas Eve. Every day he listens to the requests of little girls and boys. He makes his list and checks it twice. He has a real white curly beard and he is quite jolly. (If you pull on his beard, it will not fall off or come out of place). His wardrobe consists of red velvet pants and suspenders. He wears a holiday print shirt and red, green and white striped stockings. When he goes out in the cold, he wears a red velvet cape lined with white fur.

    He lives at the North Pole and he has been making toys and giving them to children for over 1800 years, he said. Santa also goes by several different names.

    “Some people call me Saint Nicholas, some people call me Kriss Kringle,” Santa said. “But in this country most people call me Santa.”

    When Santa asks children if they have been good that year, he said that he always knows whether they are telling the truth.

    “I can tell when I look in someone’s eyes if they are lying or not,” Santa said.

    When Santa is not listening to children’s Christmas wishes, he spends most of his time making toys.

    “(The most popular toy) was Nintendo 64 until a week ago,” Santa said. “Now Barbies have taken over.”

    He said that following close behind on the list of top toys are toy trains and porcelain dolls at number three and number four.

    “One thing that has come back is the yo-yo,” Santa said. “Dinosaurs are also big. We are pumping those toys out like crazy.”

    Yes, Santa and his elves are busy making toys for all the good girls and boys. But just how many elves does Santa have?

    “(There are) really too many to count,” Santa said. “I lose count, but just in Provo there are several hundred. You don’t always recognize them,” he said.

    Mandy Thacker, one of Santa’s elves, said that she enjoys seeing the excitement in the children’s eyes.

    “(Santa) brings the spirit of Christmas,” Thacker said. “He is the real Santa Claus.”

    Santa also enjoys visiting with children all day long. It is very rewarding for him.

    “I love it when little kids about three or four years old come running up to me like they’ve know me for years,” Santa said. “They give me hugs and kisses and they pull on my beard. Their eyes light up and they see how real Santa is. That makes my day.”

    Most children’s requests for Santa include desired toys. But Santa said that not all wishes are for something as simple as a toy. Santa also receives many more difficult wishes from young children.

    “The hardest part about being Santa Claus is (visiting with) little boys and girls who all they want for Christmas is their family to be happy,” Santa said. “The families of these children aren’t usually getting along or they are split up.

    “It’s not the long hours and long days that are hard, but it’s the broken hearts that (people) want Santa to mend,” he said.

    But Santa said that he cannot mend broken hearts.

    “What I tell them is they have to pray about it,” Santa said. “There is a higher authority and Santa is really just the helper.”

    Santa also has many Christmas wishes of his own.

    “My wish is to be home for Christmas,” Santa said. “And I will be after I deliver everything.”

    And Santa’s last wish for Christmas is for kids from one to 92.

    “I wish that more people would discover the truth and real meaning of Christmas,” Santa said. “Christ is Christmas.”

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