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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, December 18, 2001

Kids know all about Santa

By Zenaida Serrano Espanol
Advertiser Staff Writer

Bryson-Ray Gomes, left, 5, demonstrates the appearance and length of Santa's beard. "He wears a mask," added Shayla Torres, 5. The kindergartners at Holomua Elementary School eagerly shared the lesser known "facts" about Santa Claus.

Photos by Deborah Booker • The The Honolulu Advertiser

Santa Claus is an old man. He's 18. Or maybe 22.

He lives in a gingerbread house. With his grandma, older brother and cat.

Apparently, grown-ups don't know much about Santa; at least not the way Sheryl-Lynn Camello's kindergartners know him.

But these students of Holomua Elementary School in 'Ewa Beach were kind enough to share some of his secrets — even the bigger ones, such as whether or not the man really exists.

For Timothy Woolston, seeing is believing.

"I woke up and I saw Santa Claus right next to my house," Timothy said excitedly, staring off into space and retelling the magical Christmas moment, "and he was going to come into my house to put the presents!"

"He's a nice guy," said Taylor Williams, also remembering a recent encounter with the jolly fella at Ala Moana Center. "He gave me a candy cane."

Bryson-Ray Gomes clearly recalls their meeting at Pearlridge. "He's handsome," he said, smiling.

Santa Claus, Bryson-Ray explained, "lives at the North Pole, far, far away."

Michael Soria, however, is convinced that Santa resides elsewhere.

"He lives on the moon," he said, "because in cartoons I saw him and his reindeers flying into the moon."

Wherever Santa may be, he is not alone.

"He lives with a lady who, she looks like Santa but she has glasses on," said Shayla Torres.

And just who is this mystery woman?

"His wife," Michael said, "Santa Claus Girl."

Some say she's his mother, others insists it's his grandmother. Others added that Santa's father and grandfather live with him, as well. But all agreed he lives with little helpers.

"He has elves, like 90," Timothy said. "They make toys."

There are reindeer there, too. Why?

"He don't know how to drive a car," said Jhonavan Dela Cruz-Alcos.

He rides in a sleigh driven by the reindeer, explained Nolan Valdivia-Puletasi.

"The reindeer runs, jumps up and it flies!" exclaimed Evan Tamashiro.

On Christmas Eve, the children said Santa gather all the gifts they've made and begin an arduous journey.

"He flies on the sleigh all around the world," Timothy said.

Santa is able to deliver presents to all the good little girls and boys ("and grown-ups, too," added Williams) in just one night, the children said, because of his reindeer.

"They're super-dee-dooper fast!" Evan said.

As Santa reaches each destination, "he goes to the top of the roof and goes down the chimney," Nolan said.

Those who own homes without chimneys, including many who live in Hawai'i, need not worry, the children said.

"He goes through the door," Evan said. "He just opens the door."

"He also goes through the window," said Lindsey Ahlo.

Evan, who wanted to meet Santa during one of his late-night deliveries one year, missed the opportunity and blames his father.

"I asked my dad to stay up to wake me up to see Santa, but he fell asleep," Evan said and laughed. He'll try again this year.

Besides Hawai'i, Santa has other favorite stops, the kids added, like "Las Vegas and New York," Jhonavan said.

When the tiresome trip is over, "he goes back up to the North Pole, and he goes to sleep," Jhonavan said.

Throughout the rest of the year, the children said Santa and his elves continue to make toys.

"Well, the elves just keep on going, (but Santa) takes some breaks," Evan said.

Santa also finds time to do other things.

"He cooks and cleans," Shayla said, "and he likes to watch hockey games on TV."