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'Santie Kaus' still season's favorite guy

November 17, 1996

By FRANCA LEWIS

Staff Writer

Dozens of excited youngsters gathered Saturday at the Valley Mall in Hagerstown to welcome the season's favorite guy - Santa Claus.

Some clutched lists of the toys they hope to find on Christmas morning. Others were simply mesmerized by the appearance of the jolly man in the red suit.

"I like Santa Claus," piped up Brian Stanley, 4, of Needmore, Pa., who was with his brother, Lucas Stanley, 2.

Brian asked Santa to bring him a tractor, while Lucas asked for a Thomas the Train toy.

Dorian Taylor, of Hagerstown, who will be 2 next month, watched the festivities in wide-eyed wonder, but wasn't quite ready to sit on Santa's lap to let him know of her wish for a baby doll.

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Haley Carter, 10 months, of Halfway, clapped her hands exuberantly at all the sights and sounds. Quinn Hoover, 2, also of Halfway, was equally as excited about seeing the man he calls "Ho-Ho."

Dorian Jones, 3, of Martinsburg, was a bit shy, but managed to tell Santa he likes trucks.

Twin sisters Sarah and Stephanie Hart, 4, of Hagerstown, wore matching elf-designed sweatshirts and remembered that they visited Santa in the mall five times last year.

This year, Sarah said she wants a Baby-Go-Bye-Bye doll, and Stephanie wants a doll that pretends to eat food.

Girlfriends Kylie Hovermill, 6, and Megan Huntsberger, 6, both of Hagerstown, were inseparable as they waited to see Santa.

"He's got a long beard," observed Megan.

Caitlin Huntsberger, 8, of Hagerstown, quietly assessed the man in red and said, "He needs to ho-ho-ho more, and he needs to be fatter."

Caitlin said the holidays are special for her because in her words, "It's Jesus' birthday."

Sawyer Gardenhour, 4, of Smithsburg, matter-of-factly expressed that he hopes Santa will bring him a special diesel for his train collection.

Kristin Palmer, 6, of Greencastle, Pa., said she'd like for Christmas to hurry up and get here so she can find out if she gets the horn and toy barn she is asking Santa to bring.

The most important thing about the season is that it celebrates the "birthday of Jesus," Kristin said.

Chris Kiley, 3, of Hagerstown, watched Santa from a distance with his grandparents. He hopes to get a purple Space Jam basketball and the Aristocats video.

Cousins B.J. Slemmer, 3, and Jordan Ernewein, 4, of Waynesboro, Pa., sat together on Santa's lap to go over their separate wish lists with him.

"Santa's special because he brings us toys," said B.J.

Jordan said he likes Santa "just because," and he likes to decorate the tree for the holidays.

Mikaela Wesmiller, 2, of Gapland, was more comfortable with Santa this year. Last year, her parents said she cried when she went near him.

Mikaela said she wants "Santie Kaus" to bring her Barbie toys.

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