WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- Santa Claus has been coming to town to gather the Christmas lists from children at Valley West Mall for 23 years.
He asks the same question to every child that sits on his lap, “What would you like for Christmas?”
This is one of his favorite responses:
“He says, ‘Well you know what I want for Christmas, mom said it costs too much money so santa do you have a lot of money?’ Well I said, ‘I don’t know how much you need.’ He says, ‘Well if it’s too much, I’m just going to go see Grampa, Grampa will get me that for Christmas he will always get me big presents,” Santa said.
After hearing thousands of stories from children over the years, Santa made his list and checked it twice and turned it into a book of the naughty and nice.
The book is titled, “Kids say What?”
“And what we are doing with that book is we are leaving all that money here in the local area for Blank hospital for kids for cancer and so that’s what it’s for. That’s my fun and I just have fun,” Santa said.
Many children at the mall said they are excited to see Santa.
When Channel 13 asked young Ronald Parkhill what he wanted for Christmas he said, “Well I have a big list, but I can think of one thing: the Pie Face Cannon game.”
This is Parkhill’s fourth year in a row coming to see Santa at Valley West Mall and his mom, Amber Douglas said it’s special for their family.
“It means everything. It just makes me feel like a kid again, when he believes,” Douglas said.
Santa said there is a reason kids from one to 92 come to see him every year.
“It’s the spirit of Santa. They still remember what they got when they were a little child. They still like presents now, but they still like the good camaraderie that we have at Christmas,” Santa said.
Santa’s book is available in the winter wonderland photo area for $15.
Santa is available for pictures Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.