It's that time of the year again. Little boys and girls all around the globe are counting down the hours until Santa comes down their chimney weighed down with gifts, and Irish American kids are no exception.
“Santa is going to bring me a pink Ariel princess kitchen and pink socks and, oh ya, maybe pink rabbit stompies,” says three-year-old Mackenzie O’Regan, who lives in Yonkers.
Born to Sharon (from Co. Clare) and Don (from Co. Limerick), Mackenzie is prepared to share some of her toys with her one-year-old sister Khloe, and if she still has stuff left over she will “give some of my toys to the little children that don’t have any.”
Three-year-old Conor Lenihan told the Irish Voice he hopes Santa brings him a bike and some Handy Manny tools. Speaking on his 10-month-old sister Sarah’s behalf, he said she is “getting a doll and stroller.”
Conor is the son of Co. Kerry-born Valerie and Mike Lenihan, who both live in Yonkers.
When asked what he is most excited about this Christmas, he turned a brow up and said “Santa coming of course.”
Conor did some shopping of his own for his friends and family.
“I bought my nana a bag and my best friend Niamh an Olivia chair,” said Conor, looking at his mom with a thought.
“And what did you get me?” he asks his mom.
Conor’s best friend Niamh Kissane, three, is hoping Santa will bring her a doll's house.
Niamh, daughter of John and Catriona Kissane, also from Kerry, told the Irish Voice that “Santa lives in the North Pole.”
Niamh jumps around in excitement and hugs her little sister Kate, one, while telling us that she bought her friends Conor and Sarah a present too.
“Don’t tell them cause it’s a surprise but I got them a kitchen, and then we are going to eat lots of candy when we play,” she said.
Caitlin Higgins, eight, is excited about Santa’s presents, but is more excited about her family coming from Ireland next week.
“I can’t wait to see my family,” she said, so excited as she sat on her mom Angela’s lap last weekend.
When asked what she is getting from Santa Caitlin said, “You want to know ALL my presents?”
She has a long list but really hopes Santa will bring her a karaoke machine so she can practice her singing.
“My favorite band is the Wanted but I also love Taylor Swift,” said Caitlin, whose mom and dad hail from Co. Louth.
The first song she plans to sing on Christmas morning will be “Sparks Fly” by Swift. “I love that song,” she says.
At the Kerry Hall in Yonkers on Sunday, December 18, Santa came to visit the children. There was great excitement as over 50 kids gathered to meet and greet the bearded man himself, and each of them were lucky enough to go home with their first Santa present of the season.
Eight-year-old Michael-John Costello received an electronic Monopoly game from Santa on Sunday and was over the moon.
“I’m very happy with my present and I can’t wait to go home and play the game with my brother,” he told the Irish Voice while taking a rest from chasing some of his friends.
When asked what his favorite thing was about Christmas, Michael John, son of Donnchadh (Co. Kerry) and Angela (Co. Cavan), said “Being with my family.”
The eight-year-old is excited to spend Christmas day with all his cousins, aunts and uncles in his Aunt Rosie’s house where he plans to play lots of games with everyone and eat loads of food.
“I’m allowed eat more candy at Christmas than any time of the year,” he said smiling.
A group of friends -- Julia Stlafani, 11, Chiara Meorenda, six, Sarah McNamee, 11, Dylan McNamee, nine, and Luke McNamee, six, took time out of their playing at the Kerry Hall to chat to the Irish Voice.
Dylan, brother to Sarah, Luke, Aran (two weeks old), Patrick, 12, and Conor, one, said he hopes Santa brings him an electric scooter for Christmas.
“But if Santa doesn’t have an electric scooter that’s okay, he might bring me an electric guitar that I can play with my friends and brothers and sisters,” said Dylan.
His favorite thing about Christmas? “I get loads of time off school to squeeze my little brother Aran.”
His big sister Sarah (mom from Co. Down and dad’s family from Co. Dublin and Co. Kerry) told the
Irish Voice that every year without fail the whole McNamee family goes to Mass.
“I like going on Christmas morning after I open my presents,” she said.
“Christmas is special too you know, not just because we get presents but it’s the birth of Christ and we celebrate that too.”
Her friend Julia said “the most important thing at Christmas is being with family all the time.”
And little Chiara has only one wish this Christmas and that’s for Santa -- to bring her a new front tooth.
She shows the Irish Voice her missing tooth and said, “I hope he gets me a new one.”
Luke’s favorite part of Christmas is decorating the tree.
When asked if he was good this year he nodded hesitantly.
“I was about 40 out of 100 good,” admits Luke.
But his sister Sarah clarified saying, “No he was more like 50 out of 100.”
Santa will undoubtedly look kindly on all of the boys and girls this Christmas.