Santa Claus is coming to town

By Justin Boron

Santa Claus is already getting started.

In the next month and a half, he'll be traveling the world checking twice the billions of children on his list.

But Friday Santa opened his ear to the students at J.W. Arnold Elementary School in Jonesboro.

Santa admitted his job gets pretty tough during the next couple months. Fortunately, he said he had been conditioning for the rigorous schedule ahead. His preparation includes plenty of stair-climbing early in the year to strengthen his hips for all the weight they will have to support while he hears Christmas requests. Around October and November, he said he starts tapering off and kicks back so he can be at full strength for the big push leading up to Christmas.

“It's tough,” he said. “But I get by.”

Daniel Inman, 7, of Jonesboro said he thinks he'll still be on Santa's good list despite some minor misbehavior.

“Sometimes I'm kind of bad to my niece because she's always bothering me,” he said. “I hope I'm on his good list.”

Clayton and Henry counties alone presents a daunting task for Santa with about 90,000 young people.

To ensure he checks all of them, he has a packed schedule of public appearances starting Nov. 19.

To get to all those appearances, he'll take a multitude of transportation modes.

To get to the elementary school Friday, he said he took a plane down from the north pole. Then from the airport took a car.

On Nov. 19, he'll ride into Jonesboro for the city's annual parade on a fire engine.

Closer to Christmas, the Clayton County Police Department will arrange a helicopter ride to Suder Elementary.

At Southlake Mall on Nov. 19 in Morrow, Santa will parade through the mall with children after a craft workshop. To register, call 770-961-1050