MARTIN, Tenn. – For the past 28 years, Santa Claus has made the trek to Martin and enjoyed his stay at Santa’s Village. This year will be no different. The big man in the red suit confirmed he will be here for Santa’s Village, Dec. 12-15, at the Ned McWherter Agricultural Complex.
“I love talking to children and being myself around them,” Claus said. “I want to spread good cheer.”
Santa said he has always asked children what they want for Christmas. “Sometimes they just nod their head, and I ask them to tell me one thing they want.”
A couple of years ago during the Friday preview day, two first-graders, about 20 minutes apart, asked Santa for something real simple.
“They wanted Bibles,” Claus said. “It just about brought tears to my eyes. And I have heard everything. A year ago, a young man in his early twenties didn’t know if he wanted to see me or not. He finally came up to me and asked for a new pair of blue jeans …
“I had a little girl sit in my lap not long ago and all she wanted was her daddy to come home for Christmas from Afghanistan.”
Santa Claus did cry. He said, “We will see what we can do.”
As the little girl walked away, Santa grabbed a candy cane and got up out of his chair. He walked toward the little girl and said, “Here is a candy cane for your daddy. Give it to him with a big hug and tell him I said thank you for what he does.”
Santa said he has heard some great stories with some simple wishes and the only thing he can say is, “We will see if we can make that happen.”
Santa Claus knows he has some non believers, but he is quicker than a ho-ho-ho. “I am real.”
Not long ago, a little 9-year-old girl asked how many cookies Santa eats on Christmas night.
“I have to be careful with the cookies because Mrs. Claus stays on me about my diet. What I try to do is taste everyone’s cookies, if I don’t I take the cookies with me and give them all to my elves.
“I like the soft chewy kind, peanut butter and oatmeal-raisin are my favorites, especially when they are real soft and fresh.”
Another 14-year-old believer asked Santa Claus why he always wears a red suit. “Well, to be honest, I have never had anyone ask that before. I wear red because in the North Pole we have a lot of snow and everything is always white. I like the red suits because they always make people laugh and have a good time.”
When asked about the naughty and nice lists, Santa Claus couldn’t lie, he had to tell the truth. “There are really not that many people on the naughty list. My elves and helpers help me watch throughout the year, and usually we put most people on the nice list.”
Santa’s Village is slated for 6-9 p.m., Dec. 12-13; all day Dec. 14 and from 1-5 p.m., Dec. 15. Santa and the enchanted forest will be at the Ned McWherter Agricultural Complex on the UT Martin campus.