By David Hotle, The JOURNAL
With Christmas less than a week away, residents of Washington still have a few more chances to visit Santa Claus in his house located in the iTech Building at 110 E. Main St. in Washington, including the addition of hours Saturday.
Due to a scheduling conflict the hours scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 17, had to be canceled at the last minute. Claus said that he wanted to make sure the children and families who wish to come and see him ? including people who had come from as far as Wapello ? would have the opportunity, to that end he is having his elves work extra hours to give him the opportunity; to visit his Washington digs an additional day. He announced that in addition to the house being open from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, it also will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.
?The way the time zones in this great world of ours work, it is not going to be a problem to make my appointed rounds,? Claus said, with his traditional ?Ho ho ho.?
As normal, Claus first came to Washington during the Main Street Washington holiday blitz, which occurred the Saturday after Thanksgiving and has seen children in the house set up for him. This year he also brought one of his model train sets to show the people visiting him.
This year, Claus said, he has talked with many children who have all been good (according to them, anyway) and he said the ?want? lists have mostly been modest this year. While there have been a few children with sizable ?want? lists, he said most of the children have only asked for two or three items. Among the hot items on people?s lists this year are Hatchimals hatching egg toys. As usual, Barbie dolls are still a hot item.
?I have not had anyone who wanted a BB gun,? Claus reported. ?I have had a couple of children who wanted .22 rifles or bows and arrows they could go hunting with.?
He also said after some of the kids have seen the train layout in the house, he has had several children ask for model trains. He also said many area young people growing up on farms have asked for either green or red tractors.
After Christmas, Santa said that he plans to take a ?southern vacation.? After that, he has to begin making toys for Christmas 2018.