Children share gift ideas

Published 8:07 pm Friday, December 23, 2011

With Christmas less than 24 hours a way, Santa and his trusty reindeer are set to touch down in places across the Black Belt and youngsters everywhere excitedly wait to see what he will bring.

And while old Saint Nick is busy visiting all four corners of the earth, local 3-and 4-year-olds give their take on what they’d do if Santa graciously handed them the reigns.

“Gifts” were the No. 1 thing these preschoolers would pull out of their burlap sacks.

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“I would get some gifts,” Christopher Merriweather, 4, said. “The red Lightning McQueen and building blocks.”

Ashanti Davis, 3, wants to spread the Christmas cheer to every boy and girl.

“I’d get toys to everybody,” Davis said. “Every toy, I want to get.”

Many of the children felt Santa needed to be up-to-date with technology; no more calling-out reindeer names, one by one.

“I would take a pager,” said 3-year-old Hayden Bradley.

Cars and dolls were among the most popular items on the students’ lists.

“I’d give the girls Dora and boots and the boys will have racecars,” said Bryanna Smith, 4.

Four-year-old Chris Gordon agrees.

“I would first get a big ‘ol monster truck and fire truck and some mud and hit the cars,” Gordon said smiling.

Travis Jones, 3, believes everyone should have their own wheels for the holiday.

“I’m gonna get a four-wheeler,” Jones said.

According to, the history of Santa Claus dates back to the 10th century BC, when Saint Nicholas first arrived in the New World with European settlers.

The Vikings dedicated their cathedral to him in Greenland.

With the negative view of the saints during the 16th century’s protestant reformation, many tried to extinguish the customs Nicholas brought with him.

Nicholas survived the scrutiny and many commoners of the time placed nuts, apples and sweets, in shoes left beside beds, on window seals or in front of hearths.

During the Civil War, political cartoonist Thomas Nast began a series of annual black-and-white drawings, establishing Nicholas as a rotund-man with a flowing beard, fur garments and an ever-present clay pipe.

As dozens of artists throughout the years have portrayed Nicholas with a variety of styles, sizes and colors, Nicholas’ name also changed into “Santa Claus,” derived from the German “Sankt Niklaus.”

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