Catawba County children want high-tech gifts for Christmas this year.
Many also desire traditional presents that have filled the floors around American Christmas trees for decades.
Hundreds of county children recently wrote letters to Santa Claus, and The Observer News Enterprise intercepted those letters on their way to the "big man" in the North Pole. Dozens of those letters are available inside The O-N-E and Outlook today in "Dear Santa: What I Want For Christmas."
Most letters included requests for iPads, iPod Touch devices and other mp3 players, laptops and flat-screen TVs. Many included requests for video game systems — with XBox 360 and Playstation 3 consoles, and Nintendo DS systems among the most popular requests. Mario and Madden NFL games were the most-requested individual titles.
Children also hope to find simple gifts under their trees.
Sarah at South Newton Elementary, and Achaia and Kylie at Shuford Elementary want tea sets. Dolls are also a popular item this year, with girls hoping to find Barbie, Cabbage Patch kids and Monster High dolls under their trees.
Several children also requested classic board games, such as "Candyland" and "Shoots and Ladders," and others wish for books in the "Twilight" and "Harry Potter" series.
Zach Swisher at Clyde Campbell Elementary and Hayden Cline at South Newton Elementary asked Santa for skateboards, and several of their classmates asked for skateboard ramps and accessories.
Other boys asked for Nerf toys, footballs, baseballs and bats, and bikes. Some asked for puppies.
Others asked for basic necessities, such as pencils, clothes and health for their families. Lundyn Knisely, a student at Catawba Elementary, proposed a simple request to Santa.
"I don't want anything for Christmas because I don't need anything for Christmas because some people need stuff and I don't," Lundyn wrote. "Give presents to other children that don't have anything. Please give them something instead of me."
For a comprehensive collection of Santa letters, visit observernewsonline.com.