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Santa Left Speechless by a Child's Request

Tis the week of Christmas, and Santa is hearing from children everywhere what they would like to see under the tree Friday morning.

In some parts of the U-S, children's requests reflect their family's struggles in the worst economy in decades. In some cases, even Santa finds himself at a loss for words.

Santa Dwayne Robinson awaits children at Eastland Mall in Columbus. He's noticed their gift lists are shorter this year: " "We just get one or two items instead of a whole string of items. Some of them are asking for new shoes and boots and coats and that sorta thing."

Santa Mike Smith at Polaris Fashion Place north of Columbus says electronics are popular again this year including Ipods and so too is an old standard - Barbie.

One child recently made a request that caught the jolly old elf by surprise.

Had a little girl five or six who wanted me to turn her daddy into an elf because he'd been out of work, and they were about to lose their house. Wanted me to turn him into an elf so he'd have a job. I didn't know what to say. So I kinda made light of it and said we'd see what we could do."

Even the economy is no match for the imagination of 4-year-old Guion Robertson who is waiting in line, ready to present his wish list to Santa. He says he will ask for a skateboard, a truck....and a big giant elephant.

Santa Gordon Asher at Indian Mound Mall in Heath has a lengthy perspective on requests from children. He remembers back to the wish lists of youngsters visiting Lazarus department store in downtown Columbus during the 1970's. This year, he says, Ipods and electronics in general are popular, but he notes even with children 10 years old and older ask for Legos. He doesn't think the lists are shorter or the requests more subdued.

For the very young, requests change even at the last minute. Three year old Aliyah Humphries is waiting in line with her mother and baby brother. Asked what she will ask Santa for, she answers a yellow bike. Then, after studying the microphone she was speaking into, she added,

"Uhhh I want a microphone he he he!"

And while Santa Gordon spoke with other children, Aliyah took hold of the mic and demonstrated for everyone what she would do with such a device by singing all of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star which sounded a lot like Tinkle Tinkle Little Star and included a few changes in wording.

When it came time for Aliyah to climb up on Santa's lap, she giggled and told him what she wanted for Christmas .a microphone. A few minutes later, after the pictures had been taken, and Mom had paid the bill -and was preparing to leave, Aliyah came running back to tell Santa she also wanted a yellow bike.