DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Santa Claus officially kicked off the Christmas Season at NorthPark Center Friday.  The festivities started with a parade through the mall, then a special story time.  By 9:00am the wait to sit on Santa’s lap was already seven hours long.

For thousands of people, coming to NorthPark to see the “Real Santa Claus” is an annual tradition.  This year will be Santa’s 23rd year at the North Dallas mall.

He shared how he keeps more than just a naughty and nice list.  “Every year I keep a journal.  I write down the things that kids say they want, but also some of the kind of interesting and unusual, sometimes funny, sometimes touching things they say too.”

And then he shared some.  “A 10-year-old girl said I want my mom to find the right man.  She was pretty determined about that and a pair of sisters I asked if they had been good and they said, ‘well, we have been how sisters are to each other.’” He chuckled remembering them well.

He also shared how kids were not greedy and asked for gifts for others more often than a parent might think.  “One year a little boy asked me to bring toys to the children of the terrorists so they wouldn’t hate us so much.”

It is his way of keeping up with his fans.  “It’s like a little snap shot of somebodies life and it’s not always happy.  I had one little girl that wanted to see her grandmother and that didn’t seem too unusual, she was three, then I found out that her grandmother had passed away so we talked about her grandmother and how much she loved her.  So there are a lot of little touching moments like that.” He said with a loving smile.

Make Santa your family tradition.  Tickets to see Santa are available starting at 9am, Monday – Saturday, and 10am on Sunday.  Santa Claus’ cottage is located on Level One in Macy’s Court.

MORE: NorthPark Center Santa Information

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