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2013-12-10 at 16:05

Santa via satellite

By Leith Dunick,
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Santa Claus is a busy man these days, with Christmas only two weeks away.

But on Tuesday he cleared his schedule for a few hours and spoke via satellite phone with students at St. Margaret School. Eli McWhirter told Jolly Old Saint Nick he wanted a Skylanders Swap Force video game and a police station to play with.

“It’s a video game and they give you these guys and a portal and you put your guys in the portals and then you have nun-chucks and you use them to fight on the levels in the games,” the seven-year-old said.

He couldn’t believe he was getting the chance to actually speak with the man in red himself, thanks to the assistance of local military outlets, who are bringing the phone to schools throughout Thunder Bay this week.

“It was fun,” he said. “I like talking to Santa.”

Grade 2 classmate James Sims thought it was pretty cool too.

“It was really fun. I’ve never talked to Santa before,” he said, admitting it’s something he wanted to talk to Santa for a long time.

James worked up the courage to ask for a monster truck and a punching dummy to practice boxing with.

“I’ve never had a punching dummy and I never had a remote control monster truck in a long time,” he said.

Other items high on the children’s wish lists were iPads and X-Box Ones, two of the hottest gift requests of 2013.

Cpl. John Ta with the Three Squadron 38th Regiment, said Operation Santa Claus is something the military has been doing for several years.

“Usually the classes will write letters to Santa. We deliver them so Santa will know what to say when we get to the classes,” Ta said.

It’s great to see their reaction, he added.

“It’s very awesome. Words can’t really describe their faces when Santa knows what the kids want already and says, ‘Oh, you want X or Y for Christmas.’ Santa will also say, ‘Well, if you’re nice to your older sibling or your younger sibling,’ their faces light up. It’s just unbelievable.”

Ta said they will be visiting other Thunder Bay schools throughout the week, but plan to give Santa next week off as he gets ready for his biggest night of the year on Dec. 24.



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