"Christmas is not so much about opening presents, as opening our hearts". This saying aptly epitomises this day of celebration. The true essence of Christmas lies in serving joy and happiness, not just for oneself and family but for everyone.

Highlighted with the arrival of the big fat white bearded Santa Claus on his sleigh, singing "Jingle Bells", children all over the world eagerly await his presents. No religion, caste, race, gender or age deters merrymaking on this day. Santa rewards children on the eve of Christmas. He is believed to place gifts under the Christmas tree or even in a sock alongside the pillow. Characterised by his cheerful "Ho-Ho!" laugh, this festive day is incomplete without Santa's surprise gifts.

So earnestly do children believe in Santa Claus that they write to him well ahead of Christmas, seeking the gift(s) they desire. Following is a bucket list from children in the age group of 5-15 years in the Capital:

"Please give me a chocolate cake that never finishes. I want to eat chocolate all my life," was the innocent request from Ganga, a five-year-old in a children's camp. But guess what Annu wants: "I love tomatoes. I don't get to eat those much. I want baskets full of tomatoes."

Dev had a more practical request: "I want a bicycle. I'm tired of walking alone to the school. If I'd get a bicycle I'll ride it to my school everyday." Sunil had a similar request: "Can I have a cycle? I want to ride a cycle in style and be like Aamir Khan!" Nitin was not one to be left behind: "I want a scooty. Scooty is fast and if I would have that, I could help my mother getting vegetables from the market, which is far away from our home."

Then there was Pallap, who wrote, "I don't have anything other than two suits to wear. Santa please gift me a jeans and a top." But then Ritto had other ideas: "I want a lehenga as my gift. I want to wear that and play with my dolls." Kassudin knew her mind: "I don't have a sweater. I want a new sweater that would just be mine. I don't want to share it with my elder sister." Rani loves to dress up: "I want a red and a pink lipstick with a kajal. I want to look beautiful by using them."

This is what Saurabh had in mind: "I want really nice clothes. Not just one or two but a lot of clothes. I want to flaunt them in front of my friends."

Anil asked Santa: "I want a mobile phone. I see people everywhere using it so even I want to have it." Afzal wrote: "I want a mobile phone. I want to watch movies and play games endlessly." Parvesh is a step ahead: "I want Santa to give me money. With money I could buy anything and everything I want."

Khushi was different from the crowd: "I like studying. I want Santa to give me the books of Class IV so that I can study." She met her match in Ayaan: "I want books so that I am able to become an IPS officer when I grow up."

Toys are another favourite with kids. Vikas made this wish: "I want boxing gloves. I want to learn boxing and then go to Olympics like Vijender Singh." Rajshekhar wrote: "Santa, please gift me a cricket bat." Sarawati's request read, "I want a 'gudda' so that I can marry my 'guddi' to him."

Now, meet Yogesh: "I want a ticket to meet Salman Khan. I want to hug him once." Bharat's request was simple: "Can you tell Santa to give me boxes of Complan? I want to grow really tall."

Another world?

In what may appear to be a contrast, children from well-to-do homes had a wish-list as well. But their stakes were higher, though they were along similar lines.

Iktara loves chocolate. Her wish: "I want a golden ticket to Willy Wonka's Chocolate factory and then never come back." Manpreet's wish: "I want Santa to give me a magical power so that I can eat sweets and chocolates every day and never get fat."

Nasima is fond of dressing up. She wrote: "I want a whole new range of a makeup kit so that I look like Deepika Padukone." Kiara was practical: "Santa please take me to a world tour where I could buy a lot of dresses. Please."

For his wish, Aditya wrote: "I'd love if this year Santa could give me a new PSP. I broke my earlier one and my parents are not letting me buy a new one."

Aarav is clear: "I want Santa to give me a lot of Apple gadgets like iPhone, iPad and everything."

Harsh has chosen his gifts: "I want a Batman vs Superman video game. I want to keep playing till the Batman wins." Chinmay has set his priorities: "I want a new football with a new pair of football shoes because I want to be the next Ronaldo." Suraymi wished:. "I want a new Barbie doll house with everything in pink colour."

Ron's request: "I want Santa to take me to the Polar Express train. I want to go to the Santa Claus's real world."