Not-so-jolly economy brings woe to Santa's lap - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Not-so-jolly economy brings woe to Santa's lap

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Even Santa Claus isn't immune to the financial meltdown, and he's getting some sad requests from the kids.

In South Carolina, Joe Jackson has played Santa at private parties and festivals for 19 years. He says more than a few kids are asking Santa to get daddy a job, or mommy money to buy the house back.

Santa is getting some heart-wrenching letters at the North Pole, too. Denise Griffitts of Lafayette, La., volunteers for Operation Santa Claus, answering about 250 letters a year from children in her area.

She says requests for toys are giving way to personal care items, school supplies and warm clothing.

Timothy Connaghan, of Riverside, Calif., who has played Santa for 40 years and also trains them, says the key is to leave the kids feeling better than when they came, without making promises.            

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)        

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