NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Extravagant requests to suspicions of child abuse are some topics the Santas of today may hear. Even Santa may be stumped for the right answer.
East Texas News learned from a Nacogdoches couple there's training to help Mr. and Mrs. Claus out.
Does Mrs. Claus make gingerbread cookies for Santa? That's easy to answer.
"Santas favorite is chocolate chip," said David Stanley with a laugh.
What about the more difficult questions that Stanley (Santa) and his wife, Carol (Mrs. Claus), weren't at first prepared to answer when they assumed their roles six years ago? They know now Santa hears some pretty heavy stuff.
"We may be asked an adult question that needs to be reported to somebody," David said.
Santa gets requests which he truthfully knows can't be fulfilled.
"We have met and seen a lot of needy children," David said.
However, sometimes material items aren't even on the list.
"Some of the things that we just can't fix like deep illness for family members," Carol said.
Even Santa needs some pointers and tips for the awkward moments. The Stanleys find it through the non-profit organization, Lone Star Santas.
"It's a group of approximately 200 real, bearded Santas who meet twice a year," David said. "We have roundups once a year where we go and share our stories and learn more magic and learn more about the true meaning of Christmas."
"Santa has a question. Do you know why we celebrate Christmas? David asked a boy while he was in character.
"Jesus," the boy replied.
"Jesus. That's exactly right," David said.
The Stanleys' memory books are filled with hundreds of photos of so, so many events. When it's all over, even Santa needs a bit of R&R.
"This past January, 12 Santas and Mrs. Claus cruised the Caribbean," David said.
Right now, Santa is busy meeting those he doesn't know ...
"So this is the first time you've sat on Santa's knee?" David asked.
David Stanley said Christmas magic began his interest in the Santa role. His natural white, long hair and beard led to an unexpected request to play Santa at his granddaughter's gymnastics meet. It just so happened to be Dec. 6, which is St. Nicholas Day.
Click this link to visit Santa ... er ... David's Facebook page.