An Eye On...Santa Claus

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Santa Claus

Iceland: is having problems getting clearance to fly to Iraq at Christmas. The Reykjavik-based charity Peace 2000 International has plans to fly a to Baghdad on Christmas Day to bring gifts and medical aid to children, but the flight requires United Nations agreement. "Santa doesn't understand sanctions," said Thor Magnusson, the charity's founder, "so it's very difficult to tell him he can't fly."

Illinois: weighs 350 pounds, has snow-white hair, twinkling blue eyes, a red suit, an antique sleigh and a few deer. And his name, before he changed it to last week, was Robert Rion. "I have a lot of deer here," he explained, "and I was sitting here thinking, `wouldn't it be neat to have the name to go along with it?' " So he legally changed his name. Mr Claus, 53, has enjoyed dressing up as Santa since he was 15. "I've never said `Ho, ho, ho' in all my life as ," he said. "That scares the kids."

Britain: According to a survey by Country Life magazine, 56 per cent of children leave out sherry and mince pies for on Christmas Eve.