At three years old, Dhruvaite Upmanyu is just begining to understanding the concept of Santa Claus. He knows, according to his mother, Geetika, that he can’t be on Santa’s “naughty” list.
Even though Dhruvaite doesn’t plan to ask Santa for anything for Christmas, his mother said, he does plan to write Santa a Christmas letter, with some help from his father.
So imagine when Dhruvaite, who lives in Wakefield, met Father Christmas in person yesterday afternoon.
Father Christmas is, according to his business card, “The spirit of Christmas.”’ He stands for “loving and giving.”
Like Santa, his bushy eyebrows are white. So are his moustache, long beard and flowing hair. He wore a long, red, hand-made cape with only a hint of Santa’s “bowl full of jelly.”
But instead of greeting children with a booming “Ho, Ho, Ho,” Father Christmas takes a more gentle approach.
As children approach him, he asks quietly for a “High Five.”
Most children are “a little subdued” when they meet him, Father Christmas confided to Woburn Patch.
“I don’t go up to them,” he said. "They come to me,” so his young visitors are in control of their meeting.
Dhruvaite was calm and quiet.
This year, some of the children who have visited Father Christmas want ipads—yes, ipads—and cell phones, the man in red said. Some want the more traditional Barbies and Bat Caves, he noted.
Although the items on their lists change over time, “Kids are kids,” Father Christmas said. Most want something from him for Christmas.
A little girl who met Father Christmas before Dhruvaite told him, in a voice just above a whisper, that she wanted dominoes and a sticker book for Christmas.
Brothers Tiernan and Lorcan McDermott spent a few minutes talking with Father Christmas. Tiernan, 4 and Lorcan, 2, of Winchester, don’t still don’t have Christmas lists, according to their mother, Stacey.
Father Christmas has something on his own wish list for Christmas this year. He wants a heated seat in his sleigh. Last year, he told Woburn Patch he wanted a new radio for his sleigh.
Some people may think Father Christmas resembles a resident of a nearby town, Doug Dodge of Burlington. Dodge runs an insurance agency in Lynn.
When Dodge was waiting for a table several years ago at a restaurant at the Burlington Mall, in June or July—“not the Santa season”—a family walked past him, he said, parents and a child. The child kept one eye on his parents, Dodge said, and one on Dodge. Softly, the child addressed Dodge.
“Santa?” he whispered.
Father Christmas will be at the Woburn Mall for photos every day through Dec. 24th from 11 am. to 2 pm. and 3 to 6:30 p.m.