However, this year Santa's around the country say because of the economy they've seen a shift in what kids want most for Christmas.
"Children come up and ask Santa quietly my dad's out of work, my dad needs a job," said Peter De Young, Alliance Public Relations.
"One little girl broke my heart. She said I just want my family to be happy," said Santa.
One young boy was happy to receive a toy through a cops and firefighters event for kids in Merced.
"I'm glad I got picked. I don't think my parents will have enough money to buy me any presents," David Biorato,
With many parents out of work Santa's are getting more requests for clothes and shoes. The men in red suits try to point families to local charities to find Christmas gifts. Fig Garden's Santa remembers a young girl who told him she was cold.
"I did ask mom and dad if they could do something about making them warm. I assume they went and got her a coat."
Experts say kids are asking for the one or two things they really want this year and Santa says with a prayer and some kind words; "Santa loves you very, very much."
He tries to lighten spirits and spread a little cheer.
"I try not to ever promise anything I can't deliver. I know they need hope. That's what I try to give them,"