Dec 23

A 5-year-old girl to Santa: “Can you turn my daddy into an elf?”

“Why?” he asked.

“Because my daddy’s out of work, and we’re about to lose our house,” she said.

For America’s Santas, It’s Hard to Be Jolly With the Tales They’re Hearing

The Santa Index

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(Read more about what different Santas around the U.S. have been hearing from children this year.)

As a longtime Santa Claus at a suburban Chicago mall, Rod Riemersma used to jokingly tell children they would get socks for Christmas if they were naughty.

This year, he stopped telling the joke. Too many children were asking for socks. “They’ve probably heard their parents say, ‘Geez, I wish I had some money to get them clothes,’ ” says Mr. Riemersma, 56 years old.

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