Toys and modern names flummox Santa
Pillow pets and pogo sticks are the hot-ticket items for Southland youngsters this Christmas, according to the man of the moment.
This month, Santa Claus has been listening the Christmas wishes of children worldwide, including many in Southland.
One of the most common items Southland children had asked for were plush toy pillow pets - although the North Pole resident might have to do a little research before he sets out in his sleigh.
"Belly pets or something, they called them. I don't know what they are."
Many had also asked for books to donate to people in the typhoon-ravaged Philippines, he said.
Pogo sticks were another regular request, along with some other old favourites, yoyos and scooters.
There had been the odd request for a kitten, puppy or horse but, because animals were sometimes difficult to deliver, Santa warned he might need to make "some adjustments" to what he left in stockings on Christmas Eve.
Santa has been doing his job for a long time, and the type of toys children asked him for has changed a lot.
However, toys were not the only aspect of his job that had changed drastically, he said.
"The names of the children are totally different . . . There are some very unusual names."
With only a few days to go until the big delivery, Santa has a very busy schedule , although he will find time for a last-minute check of his naughty and nice list.
Come Boxing Day, he was planning a well-deserved break with Mrs Claus, he said.
"I'll just have a big rest and then go on vacation - hopefully on the Gold Coast. That's our favourite."
The Southland Times