"I asked a young boy of about six what he wanted for Christmas, and his dad goes, 'Wait till you hear about this.' And he looks at me, and he says, 'A leaf blower.' He loves his dad's leaf blower, so I got a kick out of that…I asked a young girl of about five what she wanted for Christmas, and she was pretty comfortable sitting on my lap. She looked up at me, and she said, 'I want you.' So I thought that was the best one I've ever received." —Santa at Disneyland
"There are a variety of requests that children will make each year. Some of the more notable ones have been handcuffs (child of a police officer) or vegetable seeds for a garden. The ones that always stand out the most are when a child says that he wants his family to be happy. I always tell them that as long as they wake up every day with a positive outlook on the day and a willingness to be happy and make it a good day, that it will make everyone around them happy." —Santa at The Americana at Brand
"Some years back, a child with Down syndrome asked me if her Christmas presents were at her house. She and her parents were just returning from her grandparents' home. It was Christmas Day, and I was in suit awaiting my own wife's flight at Lindburgh Field. With 80-plus children dragging their folks over to hug or greet Santa, I still remember this child, my seeing her father shaking his head affirmatively, and my saying 'Yes, sweetheart. They are there. You see, I always will know where you are.'" —Oceanside Santa
Caution: This post contains Santa spoiler alerts.
Kris Kringle is a busy man. In the days leading up to Christmas, he's making appearances across Southland shopping centers, theme parks and pet stores. Along the way, he's meeting thousands of children and noting each and every one of their sweet, heartbreaking and hilarious requests.
Click through our slideshow of professional Southern California Santa stand-ins to see how they responded to the question: "What's the most memorable request you've received from a child?"
Trying to find Santa?
Deciding when and where you will get your annual photo with the big guy can be intimidating, so we reached out to Santa's PR people to find out what is available at each location.
Check out the map below to learn more about the Santa photo ops near you.
Did we miss your favorite Santa location? Email Ashley Alvarado at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what we should add. (And, Santa, if you're reading this, please tell us more about you by clicking here.)