LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - In a year of war, lost jobs, and a down economy, kids wish lists for Santa Claus are a little different this year.
"What would you like Santa to bring you for Christmas?" the man in a red suit with a big white beard asks every child.
"A castle [and] I want a big four wheeler," one child confidently replied.
The joy of getting to sit on Santa's lap, brings out the best and worst of the little ones. Some come dressed like Saint Nick and some pull up in wagons. But, they all can't wait to tell Santa their wishes.
"Well, the little girls all want Barbie's this year...little boys, they want a motorcycle and four wheelers," said Santa Clause. "That's their big wish list."
But, along with joyous wishes, some are heart-wrenching.
"A lot of their children want their fathers to come home and that's so sad," he said. "I asked her what she would like Santa to bring her and she broke down in tears and said, 'I want my father that left home before I was born.'"
Whether it is absent fathers from birth, war, or the economy, this year, some kid's wishes are unselfish.
"I did have one that asked for a job for Daddy, and then I had one that was just thrilled to death that daddy got his job," said Santa. "They were going to lay him off and he kept his job."
High wish list expectations, make it hard for Santa and his elves.
"If he's sitting there looking for an answer, I try to pass it by because I can't promise them anything," he said.
So, what's Santa's wish list? Cookies!
Santa says a lot of kids have asked for toys for the siblings and nothing for themselves. Santa says what makes he the most proud of East Texas kids, is their manners. He says all the kids he spoke to said, "Yes sir, No sir and Thank you."