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Fifty-seven year old Carl Anderson has been playing Santa Claus for the last 28 years—22 of those at Dallas' NorthPark Center shopping mall—but it's only recently that he's turned his memories and all the notes and letters children have given him over the years into a blog.
"Some of the things they say are so touching or so funny," he said.Maybe kids these days aren't nearly as materialistic as grown-ups (like us, we're so jaded) make them out to be. Maybe there's something magical about Christmas after all.
He's heard from little girls who want their parents to get back together, and little boys who promise to leave him Cheetos and beer, instead of milk and cookies on Christmas Eve.
"One little girl gave me her list and said that she wanted a little chair for a little desk so that she could write a little diarrhea," he said. "Of course she meant diary, but the misspeaks are pretty funny sometimes."
Anderson says he realized on his very first day of work that being Santa wasn't always going to be easy.
"The first words I heard from a child was, 'Daddy left us and moved and so I guess he doesn't love us anymore,'" remembers Anderson.
"That's when I knew I'd hear more than 'I want a Barbie for Christmas,'" he said. "Kids see Santa as someone they can confide in and care share their secrets with."
"After 9/11, I had one kid tell me to take toys to the children of the terrorists so that they 'wouldn't hate us so much,'" Anderson says. "I feel for them a lot. I do have difficulty when kids ask me to get their 'mommy and daddy to love each other again' or when they want someone who is sick to recover, but I just tell them I can't promise them anything but I will make it my wish for them. And I do."
· For 28 Years, Carl Anderson Has Heard It All As Santa Claus [ABCNews]