Santa Arrives In Minster

MINSTER — Children in Minster got the chance to visit with Santa Claus a little more than two weeks before he makes his trip around the world.

Santa appeared in Minster at the request of the Minster Parks and Recreation and the Francis J. Stallo Memorial Library, a visit that Parks and Recreation Supervisor Ryan Geise said had to be scheduled a year ahead of time just to get on the jolly old elf’s schedule. Santa arrived via fire truck, sirens blaring. The reindeer, he said, were otherwise occupied.

“They were in (a) tournament,” Santa told The Evening Leader. “The Reindeer Games.”

The reindeer will be ready Christmas Eve, he said.

“They’ve been eating well, keeping fit,” he said. “They’ll be ready to pull.”

Santa will also be ready Christmas night; despite spending a slimming two weeks of his summer vacation in Florida, he said Mrs. Claus baked enough cookies to plump him to the point of fitting into the suit.

“Everything’s ahead of schedule,” he said. Of course, the naughty and nice list keeps changing, but the elves have kicked production into high gear since Thanksgiving.

The children have put on their best behaviors for the holiday season, too — while Santa estimates 80 percent of kids have been good this year, Mrs. Claus believed it will be an easy 95 percent on the nice list by Christmas Eve.

“Most kids are good,” Mrs. Claus said. “A lot of them make up for things right after Thanksgiving.”

Santa advised children to listen to the “little whisper of conscience in their ears” if they’re wondering what’s naughty or nice, and, if all else fails, to listen to their parents’ opinions to know what to do.

The most popular toy requests in Minster Saturday, he said, were iPods and Legos.

Some secrets he wasn’t giving away — Santa would make no comment on how Rudolph’s nose became so red, or on how he could visit all the houses in one night, although he said it had a lot to do with time zones.

“I signed a non-disclosure agreement,” he said.