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Based on letters, Santa will have a busy night

Just before Christmas Day each year, Santa typically has a ton of letters to read with kids asking for everything from the hottest new toys to puppies to peace on earth. But every now and then there are surprises. And early this week, before St. Nick could open his mail, the Times peeked — with permission, of course. ∂ We gathered letters in a box outside Beef 'O' Brady's on MacDill Avenue and inside a drop box downtown at Curtis Hixon Park, where Santa had come to visit with children from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. ∂ Judging from what we found, he'll have a long night tonight. Here are some of the kids' wishes, in their own words — and spellings.

Elisabeth Parker, Times staff writer

"I would really really love to find Justin Bieber by my tree." (By the way, there were several Bieber requests.)

∂ ∂ ∂

"I would like a yorkie puppie and also clothes for it."

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"I would like a princess tent. To play with my dolls and freinds."

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"I would like a acceptance letter from the University of Central Florida, I would love you so much, more than I already do."

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"… Copy of Madden Nfl 11 for Xbox 360 (if it's used that's fine with me because used is 1/2 the price of new)"

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"All I want for Christmas Santa is a girlfriend."

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"I have ben good my family has ben good to. thanks for the letter. I liked it. it was funny. and sweet I liked the raindeer."

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"Thank you for visiting us in Tampa. I am blessed to have everything I need so please give my gifts to children who may not be as fortunate."

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"I would like a unicorn."

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"I would like a skateboard. you do so good at your job. Keep it up!"

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"I would like peace on earth. I have been a very good girl."

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"This Christmas I would like my grandma's sister to stay with us instead of going back to Cuba. I know she really wants to be with family. Thanks Santa."

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"I would really like an elmo Jack in the box. That will make my Christmas the best! Thank you Santa!"

∂ ∂ ∂

"I want a present because my mom and dad never get me anything."

∂ ∂ ∂

"I would like new pointe shoes! I really have to do my ballet."

∂ ∂ ∂

"Thank you for visiting us in tampa. You made our holiday very special. I will leave the cookies and milk out for you!"

Based on letters, Santa will have a busy night 12/23/10 [Last modified: Thursday, December 23, 2010 3:30am]
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