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North Platte Children’s Museum hosts annual Christmas party

December 9, 2018 GMT

Even Santa’s got an app for those critical job tasks — you know, like gauging which kids have been good this year.

The patriarch of the Kringle clan got right to work figuring out his sleigh’s Christmas Eve inventory Saturday afternoon as the annual Christmas party got under way at the North Platte Area Children’s Museum.

Decked out in a red coat and hat with bright green and gold braid, Santa dove into the usual questions (“Now, what would you like this year?”) and sought favors from the kids in return (“If somebody at home needs help, will you help them?”).

Then he pulled out his gadget.

“That says whether you’re on the ‘naughty’ or ‘nice’ list,” he told an older boy, inviting him to press a button on the screen of Santa’s cellphone. It jingled, jingled, jingled, before delivering the verdict.

“Nice,” it read. One more customer dealt with.

“I come down every so often to see if all the children are being good. They always are,” Santa said when asked how he could get away from the North Pole with all the Kringle toymakers hard at work.

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“In fact,” he added, nodding toward a waiting Leann and Michael West of Wallace, “these older children have sat in my lap. That’s how long I’ve been coming,” he finished, welcoming the Wests’ son, Tucker, 3, onto his lap as Tucker’s 5-year-old sister, Sophie, waited her turn.

“He’s the best,” Michael West said, remembering Santa’s past visits to Wallace. “He would give us oranges and peanuts.”

Santa showed Tucker a bright gold key around his neck.

“My elves made it up for me, so it’s got magic,” he said. “So if you don’t have a chimney, that’s how I come in. But you have to be sleepy!”

Enough chit-chat. Time for the big question: What do you want for Christmas?

Tucker let his dad answer for him: “A lizard.”

Up went Santa’s eyebrow in surprised. “Well, I’ll see what I can do.”