They wanted L.O.L Surprise Dolls and stuffed animals. They wanted Legos and Barbies, Big Wheels and Hot Wheels. They wanted dinosaurs and fire trucks, American Girl dolls and Uggs, and they wanted their grandma to get healthy. They wanted planes and cars and promised Jewish Santa they had a license to drive even when they didn’t look a day over 6. One young girl wanted a diamond. Jewish Santa asked her if it could be a small diamond or did she need something larger? She was okay with a small diamond, and Jewish Santa praised her flexibility. She warned, “Just don’t tell my parents.”
They wanted Nintendo Switches and X-Boxes, roller skates and scooters. They wanted PJ Masks and baby dolls, Buzz Lightyears and Elsas. Jewish Santa told them he also loved Toy Story, that some nights after dinner, he and Mrs. Claus retire to the parlor to light a Yule log, drink eggnog, and watch it together.
They wanted iPhones and iPads, computers and Airpods. Jewish Santa told them that gifts like electronics need everyone in the house to be on board, and if everyone is, it might happen. He would see relieved parents in the corner of his eye nodding in agreement with Santa’s policy. Jewish Santa always asked what else they wanted if they couldn’t have a phone.
One grandfather wanted a Winchester, and another older gentleman wanted an AR-15. But it was a kid who wanted a bazooka. Jewish Santa double-checked, and yes, it was the real thing the boy wanted. Jewish Santa told him not to get his hopes up—it’s hard enough to transport weapons across state lines, let alone international borders.
At first, Jewish Santa couldn’t quite figure out what kind of accent to use with people. He wanted to sound warm and paternal. He started off sounding like Kramer’s imitation of Moviefone on Seinfeld, and ended up choosing Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood for vocal inspiration. Jewish Santa watched YouTube clips of the film at night to improve his accent.
Read: Why American Jews eat Chinese food on Christmas
Jewish Santa enjoyed greeting all types of visitors, the young in age and the young at heart. One parent walked over with her son, who was no longer a child, and she shared with Jewish Santa that this guest was special. The visitor divulged the presents he wanted, and he handed Jewish Santa a bell for his sleigh, a gift that Jewish Santa said would go on Prancer’s collar as soon as he went up to the department-store roof to fly home. Afterward, when the man’s mother walked over to help her child up, she told Jewish Santa, eyes watering, that he didn’t realize how important this was for her son.
Sometimes adults visited Santa without children in tow. Young couples, softball teams, and workplace colleagues. Jewish Santa discovered that adults almost always smile when you call them “Dear child.” Given the opportunity, they played along. They wanted vacation time, good health, and world peace. They wanted to have their bills paid, to be able to afford a home, and to get their visa renewed. One person wanted to land a flight-attendant job with Emirates Air, and more than a few wanted their student loans taken care of. Several wanted the president impeached and removed. One woman looked at another and told Jewish Santa, “I want for her family to like me.”