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Kids line up to see Santa

November 25, 2000

Kids line up to see Santa



By LAURA ERNDE / Staff Writer


Adam Kane likes Santa Claus - but only from a distance.

The 3-year-old Martinsburg, W.Va., boy started crying Saturday the minute his parents put his 4-month-old sister, Alyssa Kane, on Santa's knee.

"He's never really liked Santa so far. He didn't want her up there, either," said Josh Kane, their father.

Alyssa, in a pretty lavender outfit, remained calm as her picture was snapped.

Santa sees his share of tears at Valley Mall, where he patiently listens to every Christmas wish list and poses for pictures with hundreds of children every day.

But he also sees his share of smiles from children who are confident all their hopes and dreams will be answered on Christmas Day.

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When they're thinking of what to tell Santa, some children stick out their tongue. Others roll their eyes toward the ceiling and fidget.

Michael McCarty, 8, told Santa he wanted a PlayStation, a jukebox for his room and some new clothes.

Michael and his 5-year-old sister, Kelsey McCarty, stopped by to see Santa on their way to the movies to see "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," said their grandmother, Debbie Cohill of Berkeley Springs, W.Va.

Ana Maria Enciu, 9, of Hagerstown, told Santa she wants a scooter, a Barbie doll, a baby doll and "lots of money."

Santa held dozens of babies too young to tell him what they want for Christmas but old enough to smile for the camera.

Santa's helpers used rattles, toys and sugary voices to get a smile. Or at least to stop them from crying for a split second.

But it didn't always work.

"Sorry Santa. They're new at this," Verna Brown of Waynesboro, Pa., said of her two crying grandchildren, Quentin Thomas Brown, 2, and Allyson Masterson, 1.

"We'll try next year. We'll get a smile yet," she said.

These days, Santa takes advantage of the latest photo technology, which allows parents and grandparents to approve the digital image on a television screen before it's printed. The printing takes just minutes.

Matthew Dick and his son Preston, 7, both got in the photo with Santa. They planned to give it to Preston's mom, Teresa, who had to work late as a supervisor at the Polo store at Prime Outlets in Hagerstown.

Santa Claus, also known as Jim Nolte, 36, of Waynesboro, Pa., has already had thousands of children sit on his lap.

"I love it. I love kids. I have two kids of my own," he said.

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