Kids hopped up on 1,500 calories worth of sugar say the darnedest things. Such was the case on the flight deck aboard the USS Yorktown on Saturday afternoon. As families waited for the arrival of ol’ Saint Nick, the kids were let loose on a spread of holiday cookies and hot chocolate topped with marshmallows. But it was the gingerbread man-decorating table that would make a fat camp alum burst into tears. Ready-made gingerbread cookies lay waiting for adornment. The bowl of golden raisins sat untouched while pint-sized fists dove into piles of malted milk balls, gummi bears, and sprinkles. Their attention to the confectionery arts was broken only to watch Santa jump out of an airplane and land squarely on target aboard the destroyer. The appeals for his attention were instantaneous. There was the traditional request for a pony and the general clamor for various video game consoles. But a 12-year-old’s plea for his “very own music career” made it official: Santa’s job just keeps on getting harder. —Angela Hanyak

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