By Nancy Guenther Chapman
NORWALK, Conn. – Santa Claus hesitated just a moment when 10-year-old Julian Boehm relayed his wishes for a gift Monday night at Setti’s Christmas Village in Norwalk.
Julian asked for WWE-13.
“Let me see, would that be CM Punk? John Cena? The Big Show?” Santa asked Julian, impressing the adults who were watching with his spot-on knowledge of the world of wrestling.
About 30 children were in line to see Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the home of Rick and Joan Setti, who were nowhere in sight. Bob Virgulak, one of the Settis’ best friends, did crowd control. He also talked about the 24 years that the Settis have put into making Christmas bright for area children, with the many plywood characters on the lawn and the lights hanging from the trees.
Virgulak said he admired Santa’s style, the conversations unfolding in front of him.
”He’s got such a mind for the kids,” Virgulak said of Santa, otherwise known as Rick Setti.
Julian said he played soccer.
“You know what position I played when I played soccer? Left out.” Santa said. “I wasn’t good at soccer. All the elves beat me all the time.”
Julian’s 4-year-old sister, Maya, said she had made cookies for Santa. That hit him right in the heart, he said.
What else did the kids want? One little girl said she wanted a sewing machine. Elise Bell, 7, who had been first in line, wanted Barbie Dolls and a Barbie camper.
A little boy from New Canaan couldn’t remember what he wanted. Santa came up with it, with just a hint from a bystander. “Let me look at you,” he said. “You look like a bike man.”
Getting the gifts is not exactly a given, as anyone familiar with Santa protocol knows. Theresa Virgulak said her grandchildren had gotten through to Mrs. Claus on the North Pole phone, near the Setti’s front door. “Jacob you’re doing well, you’re going to get lots of presents,” Mrs. Claus said. “Benjamin, you’re borderline.”
Santa also gets many letters from the children. Theresa Virgulak said Santa had gotten a memorable one Sunday. A little boy wrote, “I just want to tell you that I’m going pee-pee and poo-poo on the potty as best that I can and I hope you’re proud of me.”