Local News

Dec 19, 2009 12:03 AM by Ariel Wesler

Santa hearing stories of recession wishes

Santas across America are seeing downgraded wish lists this year.

The Wall Street Journal reports many children are asking for the bare essentials, including socks, clothes, eyeglasses, and even jobs for mom or dad.

Locally, toys still seem to top the list of most requested gifts this year but walking around the Santa Maria Town Center Mall, more people seem to be opening their hearts rather than just their wallets.

Naughty or nice, they lined up at the Santa Maria Town Center Mall, all waiting to see the jolly man in the red suit, and get in their Christmas wishes.

"An XBox 360," one kid said.

"A BB gun and more train parts for my train," his brother said.

But with an ailing economy this year, more kids are scaling back their requests, asking for the basics. Three-year old mallorie Johanning of Lompoc said what she wanted in one word.

"Umbrella."

Santa says some kids have asked him for socks and pants while others aren't even asking for themselves at all.

"They want peace in the world or that they want their mommy and daddy to be happy and everyone to be safe," Santa said.

Parents are making adjustment too, not doing away with gifts, but trying to plan ahead.

"What they really want and not too many of the small gifts that they don't really need," said Adrienne Nunez of Lompoc.

"Picking names as far as our extended family goes and not buying for everybody," said Drew Feulner of Santa Maria.

These days, the adult wishlist is simple too.

"Just a happy household, that's it. . .happy we all have a job," Nunez said.

"That's the true spirit, just seeing the happiness through the kids," Feulner said.

Many of those kids are now learning a different meaning of the word.

Santa also receives thousands of letters from children each year, which often helps gauge the mood of the nation.

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