Special requests: Mahomet-Seymour elementary students write letters to Santa

MAHOMET — Beth Musgrove tasked her third-graders with writing letters to Santa last week, but the Lincoln Trail Elementary School teacher had no idea the assignment would bring her to tears.

"It just made her cry when she read it," said third-grader Kasia Francom of her letter to Santa.

"I asked if he could help the humble and the poor and the children who live in the orphanages," she added. "If he could give the poor $100 each and give them food, toys, shoes and coats."

Musgrove also asked her students, of course, to include a few items they wanted in their letters to St. Nick, but she also requested they ask for something for someone else.

Livia Wheatley asked "for the sick kids in the hospital that they would get better this Christmas," she said, "and for the world to have happiness."

Jackson Tieffel said he wanted Santa to help the poor because "some of the poor don't have food and stuff to survive in the wild," he said.

Other students, such as Jaxson Fitzsimmons, couldn't help but think of their loved ones when pondering the question.

"I would ask him to get my sister, Lily, an art kit," he said. "She's been interested in art since she was 4 and she's 7 now."

Lane Schulze wished for a unicorn for his younger cousin.

"She's only 3 and she loves unicorns," he said.

Corbyn Ellett has a Nintendo 3DS on his wish list, but he made sure to include his mother and two cats, Rocket and Flow, too.

"My mom wants a Playstation 4, and my cats need cat litter," he said.

The thoughtful requests found in the letters were also equally matched with just as many toy requests.

Tracy Wade's kindergartners made a long list of ideas to ask for in their classroom.

"I would like Santa to bring me an LOL makeup kit and a princess fidget spinner," Aili Monahan said.

"I want Santa to bring me a basketball hoop and an Xbox," Colt Reese added.

Teagan Branson asked for an iPhone and makeup, while Michael Hans asked for a Ninjago Lego set and a Hot Wheels ultimate garage.

Alyssa White's first-graders knew just how to make their requests to the big guy.

"This year I've been really good," wrote Chandler Mills. "Something good I did this year was being nice. I would like to give love."

The top of Mills' Christmas list?

"A gizmo gadget," Mills wrote.

Brooke Patrick hopes for a Barbie Dreamhouse for Christmas, and Lucas Roloff mentioned video game FIFA 19.

"Something I want for Christmas are two Nerf guns," Jadin Guth said. "I want two so I can play against my dad."

Requests aside, the elementary students have loads of questions for the man in red.

"Are you cool?" kindergartner Teagan Branson asked. "Does your alarm clock work?"

"Is Santa real?" kindergartner Henry Kelm asked. "What is Santa's favorite cookie?"

Second-grader Evan Franz wanted to know whether or not he was on the naughty list, while classmate Cora Daab asked if she was on the nice list.

Others, such as Charlotte Johnston, were curious about Santa's helpers.

"How many elves do you have?" the second-grader asked. "If he has a lot, that's good because he has a lot of helpers."

"Is Rudolph real?" second-grader Evan Hunt asked.

Ayush Parab, a second-grader, asked where Santa lives.

Second-grader Ashtyn Dowers wanted to know if Santa enjoyed his job.

Alba McFarlane, a fourth-grade student, asked, "How does he know if some people don't celebrate Christmas?"

The youngsters in Gay Fritz's second-grade class had plenty of advice for Santa Claus.

"Try to eat only one cookie at each house," Asher Miske said.

"Make sure you eat healthier and don't eat all of the cookies," Claire Kensell said.

"Try to eat more celery," Ashtyn Dowers added.

With mere days until Christmas, the students look forward to spending time with their families and participating in annual traditions.

Their favorites?

"The food," third-grader Jackson Tieffel joked. "Noodles, Hawaiian rolls, croissants."

"I'm excited because I get to see my entire family, and Nana makes her secret recipe for cinnamon rolls," Jaxson Fitzsimmons said.

"This year we're doing it on Christmas Eve because my dad is working on Christmas," the third-grader added. "We make them every year."

Third-grader Finley Smith looks forward to a "big Christmas" at her grandpa's house.

"We come there an hour or two before dinner time, and we line up the presents and we unwrap gifts," she said.

Not only were students beaming with excitement for the holidays, but they also looked forward to having no homework and enjoying their winter break.

"My family is going to Scotland," fourth-grader Alba McFarlane said. "My grandparents, on my dad's side, live there and I'm very excited to visit."

McFarlane said it will likely be a Christmas without snow sharing that the region rarely receives any this time of year. But she looked forward to seeing a St. Johnstone soccer game with her dad and "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," she added. "It's a tradition in Scotland."

Other international travelers included third-grader Kasia Francom, who mentioned a visit to Chile to see her cousin for the very first time.

"I haven't seen her in person and I'm excited because it's going to be summer there," she said.

Francom said she was a bit nervous for the trip since she doesn't know Spanish, but with the help of her dad, who found an app that will translate what each kiddo says, she isn't quite as scared.

"I'll know what she is saying, and she'll know what I'm saying," Francom said. "I'm going to say, 'Hello, how are you? It's good to see you. What do you want to play?"

Third-grader Adam Smigielski looks forward to a trip to the Windy City.

"We're staying in an apartment," he said. "Last year we stayed on the 37th floor of 40 floors. I think my dad wants to get a higher level so he can terrorize my brother."

"I have to admit, I'm scared of heights, too," Smigielski joked.

Corbyn Ellett, a third-grade student, said he couldn't wait to play the Wii against his grandma.

"We pretty much play but sometimes she reads her magazine and her character's just standing there and I'm like, 'I'm going to run over her character! Beep, beep!'" he joked.

But despite the presents and plans a plenty, the meaning of the holidays wasn't lost on the youngsters.

"I usually like to spread the joy," fourth-grader Pearce Slocum said. "I like celebrating Jesus' birthday and having time with my family."

"Christmas isn't about the presents, it's about friends and family and being together," third-grader Noah Crane said.

Categories (2):News, Education

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