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      The Practicing Parent: Santa arrives Saturday

      The holidays are fast approaching and before you know it Christmas will be here! In fact, the big man arrives in Amarillo this weekend.

      Westgate Mall will be home to Kris Kringle starting Saturday, November 16th. He'll be listening to wishes in Center Court until Christmas Eve.

      Westgate Mall Marketing Manager Stephanie Fretwell is the head elf in charge during the festive season.

      "It's a really special time. It's very magical," Fretwell said. "We want him to be as comfortable and as cozy and welcomed as much as possible, because he's away from Mrs. Claus and his elves."

      It may seem early (it's not even Thanksgiving yet), but because of the holidays falling so close this year, Santa and his Woodland friends are setting up shop now so they can start making those toys.

      "Santa needs to know what all these children want, he has a time restriction and time is ticking. We want everyone to have time to visit Santa so that he can get his list done and send these orders back to his elves at the North Pole and make sure Mrs. Claus is ready. Plus, he has to have time to get his reindeer prepped and ready for the big delivery on Christmas Eve."

      Every child that visits will get a chance to sit on Santa's lap and tell him their wish, but of course there will be kids that may be scared when meeting Kris Kringle. Fretwell says not to worry, "it's not going to hurt his feelings."

      "If you need to tell mom and dad or big brother or sister what you want, pass it on, they can give it to Santa. Or if you don't get to see him, write him a letter, send it to the North Pole."

      Santa will arrive Saturday November, 16th at 11am and will make his grand entrance at entrance #2 (near the Encore-Shoe Dept. store) in his new car from Street Toyota-Scion.

      Westgate Mall will observe extended shopping hours throughout the holiday season.

      On Friday, November 29th, the Mall will have a special Gift with Purchase offer from Midnight to 3 a.m. only.

      The remaining Mall stores will be open from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.

      For a complete list of extended Mall hours, please click here.

      Santa's Hours:

      Monday and Wednesday through Saturday

      10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

      (Cookies & Milk Breaks: 1-2 p.m. and 5-6 p.m.)

      Tuesday - 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

      (Cookies & Milk Breaks: 12-1 p.m. and 5-6 p.m.)

      Sunday 11/17, 11/24 and 12/1 - 12 to 6 p.m.

      (Cookies & Milk Break: 2:30-3 p.m.)

      Sunday 12/8 and 12/15 - 12 to 8 p.m.

      (Cookies & Milk Break: 3-4 p.m.)

      "Paws & Claus" from 6 to 8 p.m.

      Sunday 12/22 - 12 to 8 p.m.

      (Cookies & Milk Break: 3-4 p.m.)

      Tuesday 12/24 - 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

      (Cookies & Milk Break: 1-2 p.m.)