ALPENA - Ever since Thanksgiving weekend, Santa has been making his rounds on the streets of Alpena, lengthening his "nice list" with every visit.
Wednesday night, the big man visited The Alpena News and was greeted with his largest crowd of the holiday season.
Everything from Tonka trucks to Barbie dolls were on the top of kids' minds when they got a chance to take a seat on Santa's lap.
For some, however, a holiday wish was as simple as seeing the snow fly before they hit their winter break from school.
The holiday season will not be as much about possessions as it will be about spending time with the ones they love, for a handful of area kids.
Santa said one of the children he met earlier this year only wanted his family to come home from overseas, while another merely wanted his father's work phone to stop ringing for a couple of hours on Christmas day. One deferred his gifts to his sister and mother.
Most were infatuated with the thought of seeing a shiny new book, toy or video game waiting for them under the tree.
However, some requests were a bit more unique. One young man was hoping for a pink, fluffy dinosaur. Another wanted D-batteries.
Santa will be making stops in Alpena until Dec. 23, where he will then return to the North Pole and prepare for his big day.
Jim Ryan can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.