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Published: Sunday, 12/9/2012

Santa weighs in on holiday’s hottest styles

BY SARA BAUKNECHT
BLOCK NEWS ALLIANCE

If you want to know what clothes will be hot this holiday, why not ask the gentleman who will be leaving a spectrum of styles under Christmas trees around the world?

In between his visits last week with shoppers at The Mall at Robinson, Pa., a very jolly old St. Nick shared in a phone interview which looks and fashion-related toys are popping up most on wish lists this year.

Requests for apparel by brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale, and Justice are common for 10 and 11-year-olds. They tell him, “‘I want some clothes for Christmas, and they have to be cool,’” Santa said.

As many as one in three Santa’s lap-sitters are hoping for new boots, he said. This number is down from years past, when closer to 40 percent of those he met asked for them.

As far as toys, the Barbie fashion closet has many wishing for a spot on the “nice” list. “It is just huge,” Santa said. “It’s just all kinds of pretty cool stuff in there,” including Barbie shoes, clothes, and accessories.

The man in red gets lots of fashion inspiration by checking out what the people who parade by him are wearing. “This time of the year, especially the little girls coming in 10 and under, [are] all dressed to the T’s. They’re wearing the long red dress that sparkles,” as well as good shoes, fancy tights ,and jewelry. Coats that are styled to look like animals, with hoods made into manes, and Batman T-shirts with a detachable Velcro cape are some of the other styles he has spotted.

“When the kids get dressed up, it’s important to make a fuss.”

But the “I want” and the “Please give me” requests aren’t all that Santa is hearing from the hundreds he talks to each day.

“They’re real happy to have the things that they do have,” especially in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, he said. Many kids are asking him to make sure the families whose homes were at the heart of the storm are among his stops on Christmas Eve.

“I think the biggest thing more than anything else is Christmas is not about just gifts. It’s about spending time with someone you know and love, what’s going to help make them happy,” he said. “We hold each other up and we strengthen each other. ... I just think that’s where I’m seeing more and more of that, that family kind of a feeling.”

Spending time with family is what he’s hoping for once the big night is over. “Mrs. C and I are going to take some time after the first of the year and find a place that’s nice and warm and quiet for a while.”

The Block News Alliance consists of The Blade and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Sara Bauknecht is a writer for the Post-Gazette.

Contact her at: sbauknecht@post-gazette.com.



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