No one gets a better insight than Santa Claus as to what children really want for Christmas.
Through the years, Santa has heard it all, such as the latest technology or the hottest games or toys, like the LOL dolls this year. Some children aren't afraid to make grandiose requests and even bring extensive lists.
Then there are those basic wishes – for a warm jacket or gloves or pair of socks, a gift for someone else, or a wish for the family to simply be together – that tear at your heartstrings and show children can have a better grasp on what Christmas is all about than do some adults.
Seven-year-old Jasmine Bergs came to the Echo Press offices last Thursday, Dec. 12, as she has done every year to see Santa. This time she was armed with an unusual request.
"I want my two front teeth, and to be on the front page of the Echo Press."
That's right. For Christmas, the second-grade student at Woodland Elementary School wants to be in the newspaper.
Even Santa wasn't sure he had it right.
"I didn't really hear her at first, and I was kind of taken aback. Usually they're asking for toys or whatever they want," he said. "But that's all she thought about. "
Jasmine's mother, Joey, confirmed that was the case.
"She really, really wanted this," Joey said.
It had something to do with her siblings, 9-year-old Alexis and 5-year-old Jace. Last year, Jasmine's younger brother was pictured in the Echo Press' Holiday Greetings section, wearing a reindeer hat. A few years ago, her older sister Lexi had her picture chosen for the paper. The children of Joey and A.J. Bergs, who live between Osakis and Alexandria, have gone to see Santa at the newspaper office for many years.
"Her mom said every year she checks the Echo to see if she made the front," Santa said. "It's nice to hear something like that."
Now, Jasmine thought, maybe it was her turn. However, she wasn't sure if she should ask.
"Jasmine has been always very shy," said her mom, noting that she kept her distance from Santa the first few times. "The last couple years she has sat on his lap, but she brings her blanket with. My other two are not shy at all."
Jasmine was extremely excited about seeing Santa this year, but it was a matter of working up enough courage to tell him.
"I really hope they're going to let me be in the paper. I'm going to ask Santa this year if I can be in the paper like they were," Jasmine told her mom.
She stuck to her guns and went ahead and asked Santa. Afterward, Jasmine said, "I really think it's going to happen, Mom."
Santa passed along the unusual request to folks in the newsroom, and they were more than happy to oblige such a genuine and original wish.
Joey said it has now been a waiting game, with Jasmine asking her grandparents, Lori and Dean Kluver, if they have spotted her in the Echo Press.
"My parents have gotten the paper for years and years," Joey said, "and she just said, 'Grandma, look and see if there's a picture of me.'"
Jasmine will find out soon enough, although if her mom is able to pull it off, she won't learn her fate until she opens her Christmas stocking from Santa on Christmas morning.
"Unless someone spills the beans before that," Joey said, "her picture from the paper might have to be in her stocking."