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Alexander's Visit with Santa Claus

While vacationing in San Diego, California in early December 2000, Alex and his parents stumbled across a lonely Santa Claus perched atop an antique car in Balboa Park's San Diego Automotive Museum. With visions of the long lines back home at the local mall dancing in their heads, Alex's parents urged their young son to take care of this rare no-wait visiting opportunity. The number one item on Alex's with list this year was one of those robotic dogs. Alex kept his composure, made his request, and was reward several weeks later with the robotic dog of his dreams, and much more!

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On December 18, 1999, Alexander made his fourth annual visit to Santa Claus. This visit differed from the previous three in that, for the first time, Alex actually enjoyed his visit with the bearded philantropist. (Note the smile on his face, compared with the apprehension we see in photos from previous years, below.)

Alex planned to ask Santa for a "cat thing, a dog thing, and a cow thing." Once in Santa's presence, however, Alex lost his composure. He simply sat in place, with a big grin plastered on his face. After repeated coaxing from his mother, Alex finally found his tongue, but still failed to remember his prepared speech. All he was able to do was exclaim, loudly and clearly, "I like presents!"

Santa Claus, no stranger to the concept of holiday gift giving, evidently got the message. On Christmas morning, there was a bounty of presents under Alex's tree.

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Alexander's 1998 visit to Santa Claus was the first time he had any idea of who the bearded man in the red suit was. Just a few months past his second birthday, Alex was very much aware that Santa was the man who would put presents under his Christmas tree. While waiting on the line to see Santa, Alex rehearsed what he would say. "Santa, put presents under Alex's tree! Please!" The gift Alex wanted most of all? A handy-dandy notebook, just like Steve has on Blue's Clues. Unfortunately, though, when Alex sat on Santa's lap, he was unable to utter a word. All he wanted to do was get the heck out of there. Oh well. We suspect Alex will get his notebook anyway!

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In December 1997 Alexander renewed his acquaintance with Santa Claus. During this year's visit, Mr. Kringle noticed how much Alex had grown over the course of the last twelve months. (See Alexander's 1996 visit, below.) Alex didn't ask for any toys - he rejects crass materialism. In fact, he did not utter a single word. However, in the weeks that followed, he learned to say "Ho! Ho! Ho!" whenever he would see an image of Santa Claus. Alex is an adept Ho-Ho-Ho-er. Whether at home or out in public, if there is a Santa Claus to be seen, Alex spots it quickly, points, and releases a robust "Ho! Ho! Ho!"
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On December 18, 1996, history was made as Alexander met Santa Claus for the very first time. The world-reknowned jolly old elf was at a local shopping mall as part of a pre-Christmas fact-finding tour. It is not known what was discussed at this summit meeting, although representatives of both sides denied that there was any mention of "Tickle-Me Elmo."
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